Bluegrass’ Bill Monroe heads for the screen

BessieLeeMauldin Maggie Gyllenhaal has started to talk up a biopic about Bill Monroe in which she would co-star with her hubby Peter Sarsgaard. Happily, T Bone Burnett (“Walk the Line,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”) will evidently be on board to handle the music chores.

Judging from what Gyllenhaal has to say about the project, the feature will focus on bluegrass godfather Monroe’s long-running relationship with his outside woman Bessie Lee Mauldin (pictured left). She actually served as the twice-married and divorced musician’s bassist and recorded with his Blue Grass Boys between 1953-1964. Mauldin is said to have inspired one of Monroe’s greatest songs, “Can’t You Hear Me Callin’.” She spent her last years before her death in 1983 as a receptionist for Johnny Cash.

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