Naomi Ackie, who plays Whitney Houston in the new biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” felt the weight of portraying such a beloved music icon but said she eventually was able to overcome the stress of it.
“I learned how to get really good at stress management very quickly,” she laughed. “At some point you just have to forget about that and focus on the job and the job at hand.”
The film is meant to be a music-filled celebration and a kind of corrective to other projects that took a more salacious approach to telling Houston’s story.
Written by “Bohemian Rhapsody” scribe Anthony McCarten, the film shows Houston’s ascent from New Jersey choir girl to global superstar, with a focus on the woman behind the icon, troubles, triumphs and all, up until her death in 2012 at age 48.
The film stars Stanley Tucci as record producer Clive Davis.
“To me, it was a series of love stories,” said director Kasi Lemmons. “You’re always looking for a lens through which to to find your way into a story. And for me, it was these, a series of love stories interconnected sometimes, sometimes going on at the same time.”
“Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” a Sony Pictures release, opens in theaters Friday.