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Exclusive: See Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams in the first trailer for I Saw the Light

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Sony Pictures Classics

“Everybody has a little darkness in ’em,” says Tom Hiddleston in the first trailer for the Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light. “I’m talking about things like anger, sorrow, shame. I show it to them, and they hear it, and they don’t have to take it home.”

Written and directed by Marc Abraham and named for a 1948 Williams tune, I Saw the Light traces the singer-songwriter’s rapid rise to fame and his turbulent personal life, which had its own share of darkness in it.

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Though he became one of country music’s first superstars, Williams also struggled with substance abuse, a spinal condition, and a complicated relationship with his wife, Audrey Mae (played by Elizabeth Olsen), before dying tragically young.

As Williams says at one point in the trailer, which debuts exclusively via EW and People today, “Boy, I’m a professional at making a mess out of things.”

If Hiddleston seems a surprising choice to play Williams — he is, after all, a British actor best known for playing a magical Marvel supervillain — he studied for months to sing and play all of Williams’ music in the film himself.

Earlier this year, Abraham talked to EW about how Hiddleston got into character, working with Grammy winner Rodney Crowell to hone his skills.

“Every note, every line, everything is Tom,” Abraham told EW earlier this year. “He’s crazy talented. If you didn’t like him, you’d be jealous of him.”

I Saw the Light hits theaters March 25. Watch the trailer above.

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