SNL’s James Austin Johnson Cast in New Bob Dylan Biopic

Saturday Night Live cast member James Austin Johnson, best known for his impersonation of Donald Trump, has snagged his first live-action movie role since joining NBC’s sketch series in 2021.

Johnson has been cast in the Bob Dylan biopic A Complete Unknown from director James Mangold, according to Deadline.

Timothée Chalamet, Edward Norton, Elle Fanning, and Monica Barbaro co-star in the film, which is set within the influential New York music scene of the early ’60s. Chalamet plays Dylan from the ages of 19 to 24 as he goes from an obscure Minnesota musician to the chart-topping folk singer whose groundbreaking performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 saw him “going electric” — the project’s original title.

Production is currently underway in New York and New Jersey, not far from Johnson’s SNL job.

Although this is Johnson’s first live-action role in a film since landing SNL, he’s already landed voice roles in two high profile films; he voiced Donald Trump in the 2022 drama She Said, and is has a small role in Pixar’s upcoming sequel Inside Out 2.

He’s not the only member of the current SNL ensemble squeezing in a few outside gigs of late, with Kenan Thompson and Sarah Sherman recently popping up in Chucky on NBCUniversal-owned cable network USA, and the Please Don’t Destroy trio getting their own movie on Peacock. Meanwhile, Mikey Day, Sarah Sherman, and Heidi Gardner appeared in recent Adam Sandler comedies on Netflix, while Gardner also co-starred in the Apple TV+ series Shrinking.

The busiest current SNL cast member is, by far, Bowen Yang, who has appeared in or lent his voice to 10 movies since 2022 alone, and will soon be seen in Universal’s live-action Wicked. He also just booked a voice role in WB’s animated Cat in the Hat movie.

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