Naomi Ackie, who plays Whitney Houston in the new biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody, says she felt the weight of playing a beloved music icon but finally overcame the stress. “I quickly learned how to get better at stress management,” she laughs. “At some point, you have to forget about it and focus on your work and the task at hand.”
The film is supposed to be a musical celebration and a sort of rectification to other projects that have taken a more salacious approach to tell the story of Houston.
Written by the Bohemian Rhapsody screenwriter Anthony McCarten, the film chronicles Houston’s rise from New Jersey chorus girl to global superstar, revealing the women, struggles and triumphs behind the icons. It focuses on all of this and depicts everything up until his death in 2012 at the age of 48.
In the film, Stanley Tucci plays record producer Clive Davis. “For me, it was a series of love stories,” director Kasi Lemons add. It was a series of love stories going on at the same time.”