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Naomi Ackie on What Whitney Houston Would Think of New Biopic: ‘She Might Have Loads of Notes

Naomi Ackie attends Sony Pictures UK Gala Screening of WHITNEY HOUSTON: I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY at Ham Yard Hotel London on December 19, 2022 ロンドンで, イングランド. In Cinemas From Boxing Day.

Naomi Ackie attends Sony Pictures UK Gala Screening of WHITNEY HOUSTON: I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY at Ham Yard Hotel London on December 19, 2022 ロンドンで, イングランド. In Cinemas From Boxing Day.

ナオミ・アッキー.
写真: デイブJホーガン/ゲッティ

ナオミ・アッキー has a feeling ホイットニーヒューストン would have feedback about her new movie.

The London-born actress, 31, stars as the late icon in ホイットニーヒューストン: I Wanna Dance With Somebody, in theaters Thursday. Opposite her are スタンリー・トゥッチ as famed music executive Clive Davis (a producer on the film), Ashton Sanders as Houston’s husband Bobby Brown, and Nafessa Williams as the singer’s close friend Robyn Crawford.

今週号のPEOPLE, Ackie says she hopes Houston would be a fan of the film — and that she’d, もちろん, be open to any notes from the icon.

I would hope she would be like, 'わかった, Nai, you did a thing!’ ” says Ackie with a laugh. “また, she might have loads of notes and I’d just be like, ‘Great — let’s do another one. Direct me and we can do it again.’ ”

女優, known for roles in 2019’s スターウォーズ: スカイウォーカーの台頭 とNetflixの The End of the F***ing World, says her priority with the project was to portray Houston as a human being and capture her struggles with fame and addiction in a respectful way. (ヒューストン 死亡しました NS 2012 of a drug-related accidental drowning when she was 48.)

The thing about Whitney and people who are suffering from addiction is it’s a reminder that it’s an illness, that the person who is going through this is the victim of it,” says Ackie. “Her life was extraordinary, but the things she was going through were things we all go through.

Naomi Ackie in TRISTAR pictures I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY

Naomi Ackie in TRISTAR pictures I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY

Naomi Ackie in ホイットニーヒューストン: 誰かと踊りたいです.
Emily Aragones

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Bringing her into a very human space and treating Whitney with the same compassion we would treat anyone else is really important,” 彼女は続けます, “because I think when it comes to the idea of celebrities and icons, sometimes we can be more unkind because our expectations of them are so high.

Director Kasi Lemmons agrees she also wanted tocapture her humanity” 映画の中で, which was sanctioned by Houston’s family and features the star’s actual vocals for the big musical numbers.

I think she’d be happy with it. I’ve thought about this a lot, もちろん,” says Lemmons, who also directed 2019’s ハリエット. “I felt like we were having a conversation with Whitney. I asked her a lot, ‘What would you think?’ or ‘Is this okay?’ When we came to a crossroads or a sticking place, it was kind of like, ‘Let’s talk to Whitney about it.

Lemmons adds, “I think she would be cool with it, and I think she would want the story told. She would want her humanness told, that she was not just a performer, but she was a mother and she was a daughter and she was a sister and she was a friend and she was a lover and a wife. All of those aspects that make her a full woman, we are including that in the story.

Both Ackie and Lemmons are confident in the end product of their hard work, and they don’t plan on reading any takes or reactions online.

I feel very comfortable with the movie,” says Lemmons. “I really love it. I love the performance. I know why I did it and I know what I did, and I don’t really need to read the comments.

Adds Ackie, “It’s not my business what people think of me. I hope there’s something everyone can take away [映画から], しかし同時に, I’m only human. I am not Whitney Houston. I am an actor and I tried to do something, so I’m choosing not to be hard on myself either, but also not trying to control whether people like it or not.

That’s the point of sharing a piece; people can have whatever opinion they want to have,” 彼女は付け加えます. “I’m trying to be reasonable and put myself in a reasonable space because I think — especially now — you can really find out what everyone wants to say about you. And that’s just not healthy.

ホイットニーヒューストン: I Wanna Dance With Somebody is in theaters everywhere Thursday.

Whitney Houston special cover

Whitney Houston special cover

人’s special edition all about the life an unrivaled career of Whitney Houston is 今すぐご利用いただけます.