Spinning Gold, the new historical musical drama starring Jeremy Jordan, has been kicking around Hollywood in some form for over 20 years. The story of Casablanca Records and its eccentric, frenzied, driven founder Neil Bogart has been championed by Bogart’s son, Timothy Scott Bogart, since the years following his father’s passing. A version of the project was announced back in 2011 and has morphed through multiple iterations of actors and studios since.
The final form of the story landed with a star in Jordan, beloved for his extensive stage career and television roles (including cult favorite Smash), and wisely creates a few more excuses than necessary for him to sing throughout the biopic. “I don’t know, I guess they didn’t want a conventional choice,” he says with a laugh when asked how the project found its way to him, chatting with Consequence over Zoom ahead of the film’s release.
One of the things that stayed with Spinning Gold throughout its long road to the screen was the presence of Timothy Scott Bogart, who wrote and directed the tribute to his father. Bogart and Casablanca Records had a hand in the stories of Donna Summer, the Isley Brothers, and KISS; the film is peppered with a fascinating assortment of names to bring these real-life figures to life, including Jason Derulo (yes, of “Savage Love” and Cats fame), Wiz Khalifa, and SNL alums Jay Pharaoh and Chris Redd. There’s also Michelle Monaghan as Bogart’s wife Bess — “One of the best actresses I’ve ever worked with,” says Jordan. “Just a joy.”
The film is a bit busy, as it feels like Bogart wanted to include as many details of his father’s life as possible, and the result jumps between a few too many different eras of his story. Even so, Jordan was able to find enough of a connection with the businessman, who, according to the film, did whatever it took to get to the next step, including quite a bit of lying, scheming, and even a brief stint as an adult film actor. “We [speak in public] in the same cadence and have a bit of the same energy,” Jordan says of getting to the root of it all. “He was a song and dance man, a showman.”
It doesn’t hurt that he had Bogart’s son along for truly every step of the way. “It was the only access I had,” Jordan explains. “For the most part, everything I learned about him was what other people said. I read a lot of interviews he conducted with people, but at the end of the day, [Timothy Scott Bogart] wrote the script, and as I started working with him, I began to recognize traits between them that were really similar. In many aspects, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.”
There’s a meta aspect to the story of Spinning Gold coming to life — its central figure was determined to the point of recklessness, and it required plenty of tenacity to finally get this film made. “There was definitely the element of art imitating life with the character and the film as a whole,” he observes. “Tim let me make the character my own, and I got to make interesting changes based off of that and the information I had.”
The day we speak, Jeremy Jordan is wearing a Supergirl hoodie — fans of the DC television adaptation will remember him as Winn Schott in the show and its many thrilling crossovers. Although The CW series has ended, he doesn’t see the door closed on him spending more time in the DC universe.
“I like the idea of a DCU — DC always worked with TV and movies very separately, so I was jealous of the Marvel people who got to be in the same universe,” he recalls. “The shows always felt like comic books from my childhood, but I’m interested to see how everything goes… If they want to put me in the new DCU that would be great!”
Until the day DC cracks the code for uniting its beloved television shows with its cinematic universe, catch Spinning Gold in theaters now.