Whitney Houston’s new biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” will answer a lot of rumours about the star’s career and personal life, according to one of the film’s producers and long-time friend and collaborator Clive Davis.
The 90-year-old music legend was a long-time and close collaborator with the late songstress, helping to create some of her biggest hits.
“Knowing all the questions people wanted to know about Whitney, I decided it’s only right to do a film and answer all the questions, whether it’s about her sexuality, her marriage, her dependence on drugs at a certain part of her career, how she and I worked together,” says Davis, who’s played by Stanley Tucci in the movie. “Then — big time — the music. How do you celebrate the music? All those great copyrights. We clearly decided it would have to be Whitney’s voice.”
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Though the film will feature Whitney’s iconic vocals, the role of Whitney will star British actress Naomi Ackie.
“Naomi’s audition tape was truly spectacular,” he adds. “It was all the research she had put into it. … Within a few minutes you do feel she’s Whitney. She delivers in that manner in the film.”
The biopic will traverse across Whitney’s life, beginning in her pre-adolescence as a teen choir singer all the way tio her marriage to Bobby Brown and all the negative press coverage that swarmed her at that point in her life.
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One of the many rumours the biopic will be addressing is Whitney’s alleged affair with Robyn Crawford, the icon’s former assistant and creative director. In 2019, Crawford announced about their secret relationship in a memoir titled Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston. Actress Nafessa Williams plays Crawford in the movie.
Speaking with PEOPLE, the film’s director Kasi Lemmons says that the Whitney-Robyn storyline was “very important to me” since she remembers “this was a relationship that, as a young person who was in the acting and dancer scene at the time she came up, we experienced her with Robyn.”
When all is sad and done, Lemmons hopes “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” captures Houston’s down-to-earth humanity amid a sensational life.
“Whitney as an icon was so important to me and so important to all of us,” says Lemmons. “I watched her come up and break, and it was incredible. … We felt like we knew her. But when I met her, which was years later at the height of her career, I saw somebody who was under a lot of pressure, somebody who perhaps was struggling with some aspects of celebrity and somebody who was tired, actually.”
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is now playing everywhere.