Hilary Duff explored her serious side for an upcoming psychological horror film about the life and murder of Sharon Tate.
The Younger actress revealed on Instagram Wednesday that she is portraying the lead character in The Haunting of Sharon Tate, an actress who was stabbed to death in August 1969 by members of Charles Manson’s cult.
Duff, 30, showed off her transformation for the role with a selfie, revealing her teased waves and smoky eye makeup. In an earlier photo, she also donned a sizable baby bump, which may also have been for the indie project.
“Had the incredible opportunity of playing Sharon Tate the past two weeks in an independent movie. She was an amazing woman and it was a true honor,” Duff wrote in the caption.
Tate was 26 at the time of her killing; she was married to director Roman Polanski and was nearly nine months pregnant with their first child. Members of Manson’s group murdered Tate in her home, where Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent were also stabbed, their blood used to write “PIG” on the door of the Hollywood Hills home.
According to Deadline, the films is set to follow Tate’s last days leading up to the murder, told from her point of view. The plot of The Haunting is inspired from a quote by the actress one year before her death, wherein she reveals she has dreams about ghosts haunting her home and foreseeing her death at the hands of a satanic group.
While Duff reveled in portraying the character, Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, called the film “classless” and “exploitative.”
“It doesn’t matter who it is acting in it – it’s just tasteless,” the sister, who was 16 at the time Tate was killed, told PEOPLE. “It’s classless how everyone is rushing to release something for the 50th anniversary of this horrific event.”
The film is one of three projects in the works surrounding Tate’s murder or the life of cult leader Charles Manson, who died in November. The other films are Quentin Tarantino's untitled Manson-related movie and Mary Harron’s Charlie Says.
Debra not only denounced the film’s production, she claimed the entire plot is a fabrication.
“I know for a fact she did not have a premonition — awake or in a dream — that she and Jay would have their throats cut,” she said. “I checked with all of her living friends. None of her friends had any knowledge of this. Tacky, tacky, tacky. It’s a total fabrication.”
Tate also noted that she retains the rights to her sister’s likeness, and the filmmaker did not ask her permission before pursuing this project, adding, “It would have been nice if someone had contacted me.”