Culture

New Trailer For Whitney Houston Biopic Shows It Will Address “Not Black Enough” Criticism

A new trailer for Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody has been released. The film is slated to premiere in December.

A new trailer for Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody is here. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film will showcase the hardships Houston faced throughout her career prior to her untimely death in 2012. Actress Naomi Ackie stars as Houston, while the remainder of the ensemble cast includes Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis, Nafessa Williams as Robyn Crawford, Tamara Tunie as Cissy Houston, and Clarke Peters as John Houston.

One scene in the trailer shows Houston speaking with a radio host against criticism that her music “isn’t Black enough.”

“My whole life, ‘She ain’t Black enough, she ain’t white enough,’” she tells the host. “I sing what I want to sing, be how I want to be.”

The trailer also chronicles other moments during Houston’s storied career, including her legendary 1991 Super Bowl performance of the “National Anthem.”

In a recent interview with NME, Ackie talked about the audition process for portraying Houston, crediting her role as Gloria in 2021 film, The Score.

“I had quite intense stage fright singing in front of people. It always made me nervous to do it when I’m not on a stage where I can’t see anyone,” she said. “So having to sing a lot in front of the guys half-prepared me for the stuff that I have to do in I Wanna Dance With Somebody. It was a good step towards that.”

Prior to portraying Houston, Ackie acted in British films Lady Macbeth, The Corrupted and Yardie, as well as the 2019 action-adventure Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The London-born actress will next star in Zoë Kravitz’s directorial debut Pussy Island, and science-fiction film Mickey7.

Watch the new trailer for I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which premieres December 23, below.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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