BBC Arts has enlisted the expertise of Academy Award-winning Passion Pictures to craft an illuminating three-part box set documentary series centered on the legendary Hollywood figure, Elizabeth Taylor: Rebel Superstar (working title). Executive Produced by Kari Lia, Hamish Fergusson, and Kim Kardashian, the series will provide an intimate glimpse into Taylor’s life through exclusive interviews with her family, friends, and colleagues spanning her illustrious career.
Far too often, Elizabeth Taylor’s narrative has been cast as a melodramatic saga, fixating on her eight marriages, opulent diamonds, and struggles with addiction. This documentary seeks to redress the balance, spotlighting Taylor’s multifaceted identity as an actor, rebel, business tycoon, and activist. The aim is to unveil how she essentially shaped the prototype for modern celebrity.
Delving deep into Taylor’s acting prowess, the series will unravel her influence on cinema-goers and the evolving dynamics between audiences and stars. It will explore how she not only redefined fame but also shattered the glass ceiling in Hollywood, subsequently emerging as a billion-dollar businesswoman, activist, and advocate.
Utilizing previously unreleased audio tapes, interviews, and unseen TV footage, alongside an extensive archive of her cinematic works, the series promises a fresh perspective. Interviews with notable personalities who shared a personal connection with Taylor, including Kim Kardashian, Dame Joan Collins, Margaret O’Brien, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, will provide unique insights into various aspects of her life.
The three-part series aims to unveil the journey of a superstar who not only revolutionized Hollywood but the very concept of fame, transitioning from a child star to the highest-paid actress globally. Each episode will scrutinize the barriers Taylor broke in all facets of her life and the toll she paid for challenging conventions.
Kim Kardashian, Executive Producer says: “Elizabeth Taylor was unapologetically herself, a fighter. She is proof that you can keep evolving and changing and have different chapters in your life – and she paved the way for all of us who came after her with that blueprint.”
Alistair Pegg, Commissioning Editor at the BBC says: “This exciting series promises a new understanding of Elizabeth Taylor – both her technique and power as an actor, and her capacity for reinventing herself.”
Hamish Fergusson, Creative Director and Executive Producer at Passion Pictures said: “Elizabeth developed and defined our understanding of stardom and celebrity across decades. A unique talent and true luminary, we’re hugely excited to explore her extraordinary life and enduring legacy.”
Céire Clark, Senior Acquisitions Manager at Fremantle said: “Elizabeth Taylor led an extraordinary life, and her path to super stardom is a captivating narrative that left an indelible mark on the world. We are delighted to be working with the fantastic teams at Passion Pictures and BBC Arts. We are thrilled to share Elizabeth’s sensational story and a glimpse into the life of a true icon, with our international partners.”
Elizabeth Taylor: Rebel Superstar (working title) promises to be a captivating exploration of an extraordinary life that left an indelible mark on the world.