For Machine Gun Kelly in 'Taurus,' art imitates life

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FILE - Actor-musician Colson Baker, also known as Machine Gun Kelly, poses for a portrait to promote the film "Taurus" during the International Film Festival Berlin 'Berlinale', in Berlin, Germany on Feb. 13, 2022. Baker plays Cole Taurus, a troubled rocker searching endlessly for the inspiration to record one final song. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)

Colson Baker — popularly known as his rockstar persona Machine Gun Kelly and for his high-profile relationship with Megan Fox — stars as “Taurus” in a new film that he says draws inspiration from his own life.

In the movie being released in cinemas and on demand Friday, Baker plays Cole Taurus, a troubled rocker spending his days and nights searching endlessly for the inspiration to record one final song. His sister-like assistant (Maddie Hasson) wants to save him, his collaborators (Scoot McNairy, Lil Meech and Lil TJay) want him in the studio, while his dealer (Ruby Rose) and his ex-girlfriend — played by real-life fiancee Fox — push him deeper into the void.

Baker told The Associated Press that the titular character represents “the person on the inside” who only comes out in his own private life. The Machine Gun Kelly persona is an “extroverted shell,” Baker said, while “Taurus” puts “pictures to the words” to show the real him.

The movie, written and directed by Tim Sutton in collaboration with Baker, had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.

As an exploration of the dark side of fame, encompassing addiction, the artistic process and the pitfalls of music industry, “Taurus” rests almost entirely on Baker’s shoulders and on what he was willing to give to the performance.

Sutton said he knew Baker was “the real deal” upon meeting him, and fans of the musician are going to “freak out” when viewing the movie.

“They cannot expect what they’re going to see, what his performance is, how deep he goes," Sutton said. “The kind of rhythm and structure of the movie, too, is probably not typical of a movie.”

Baker previously worked with Sutton on his Western “The Last Son,” in which he played a bank robber. His past acting credits include “Bird Box” and “Good Mourning,” another collaboration with fiancee Megan Fox.

Despite the confidence and bravado of Machine Gun Kelly, Baker said that he doesn’t like to hear or watch himself on screen — but this performance was different.

“I don’t know if it was the hair, like the long hair or whatever, but I was able to watch it not cringing at my own image,” he said. “I like that guy on the inside."


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