Actress-turned-director Angela Bassett is adamant the controversy over her upcoming Whitney Houston biopic will give the project a boost by piquing the public's interest.
The star is taking charge of a new TV movie based on the life of the superstar singer with former America's Next Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta in the lead role.
The project, titled I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, has been criticised by Houston's mother Cissy, who claims producers have gone ahead with the film despite objections from the family, saying, "No one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with (ex-husband) Bobby (Brown)... I find it difficult to believe people who knew and supposedly loved her would participate in a movie about her done by folks who didn't know her."
However, Bassett is adamant the controversy could be good for business, telling Billboard.com, "Controversy can be good. It can pique your interest." She added of her work on the project, "It felt like it was flowing from the beginning. Except me with the learning curve, you know. Coming from one side of the camera to the other."
Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown marked what would have been the tragic superstar's 51st birthday on Saturday (09Aug14) by celebrating with a cake and candles. The 21 year old shared a series of photos on her Twitter.com blog to commemorate the big day, and one shot featured a tasty treat decorated with candles in Houston's honour.
In the accompanying caption, she wrote, "#HappyBirthdaymommy ! #HappyBirthdayWhitney ! #AllAugustAllWhitney #iloveyou ! ...#Family (sic)."
Brown, the late singer's only child with ex-husband Bobby Brown, wasn't the only one to remember the special date.
R&B icon Mary J. Blige shared a photo of her old pal and wrote, "Happy Birthday to angel with the voice of God, and my friend. I miss you so much!!! #WhitneyHouston #BirthdayGirl".
Singer Monica also shared an image of the I Will Always Love You hitmaker and wrote, "August 9,1963 (an) angel was born.... You inspired, you loved, you gave so freely of yourself & your amazing gift ?? #ForeverLovedAndMissed #TheVoice #OneofOne (sic)", while Kelly Rowland added her own tribute, stating, "#Happy Birthday Whitney #ForeverWhitney".
Houston died from accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors, in February, 2012. She was 48.
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
Whitney Houston's mum Cissy Houston has slammed an upcoming TV biopic about the late singer, calling on filmmakers to "let her rest".
Actress Angela Bassett, who co-starred with Houston in 1995's Waiting to Exhale, is planning to make her directorial debut with I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story for America's Lifetime network.
However, she does not have support from Houston's mum, who has now spoken out against the made-for-TV movie. A statement to Entertainment Tonight reads, "Lifetime has chosen to go ahead with the movie about Whitney in spite of my family's objections."
"No one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with (ex-husband) Bobby (Brown). In the two years since Whitney's death, many people have stepped forward to speak about their close relationship with her. I find it difficult to believe people who knew and supposedly loved her would participate in a movie about her done by folks who didn't know her."
"We are exhausted by the continuing misinformation and comments offered by people who did not know her. Please please let her rest."
While the release date for the movie has yet to be revealed, the main cast has already been made public - former America's Next Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta is set to play Houston, R&B singer Deborah Cox will provide the vocal tracks, and Final Destination 5 star Arlen Escarpeta will play Brown.
Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown has assured fans that a photo of herself getting high, which was posted online, is a hoax. Earlier this week (beg14Jul14), the snap of Brown smoking what appeared to be a bong was shared on Instagram.com, but the reality TV star insists reports she uploaded it are not true.
The picture was captioned: "This picture may be inappropriate but I want to make a connection with you all. Don't worry this picture isn't recent just hear me out. Do you know what I feel? I feel strange I can't feel any pain anymore. I don't take any drugs as of recently. Things just happened. But then there is some situation that force me to do things and the impact I'll feel pain. I did and I do. I was hurt."
The Instagram account has since been deleted and now Brown states, "I've never posted any photo of me doing anything! This is someone trying to tarnish and make a horrible name for MYSELF. People are insane."
The 21 year old's mother battled substance abuse throughout her life and cocaine was listed as a contributing factor in her death in February, 2012, when she drowned in a bathtub.
R&B star Deborah Cox has reportedly been tapped to provide the singing voice for Whitney Houston in the late star's biopic.
Former America's Next Top Model star Yaya DaCosta will be playing Houston in the TV movie, but Cox is in talks to recreate the music legend's songs for the film, according to E! News.
Reports suggest a deal for the music rights is still being ironed out, but the Nobody's Supposed To Be Here singer is on track to provide the vocals for Houston's iconic discography.
I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story also features Final Destination 5 star Arlen Escarpeta as Houston's former husband Bobby Brown, and Angela Bassett is stepping behind the camera for her directorial debut.
Houston died in 2012 aged 48.
Final Destination 5 star Arlen Escarpata has been cast as Bobby Brown in Angela Bassett's upcoming Whitney Houston biopic. Bassett, who is making her directorial debut with the TV movie, has cast America's Next Top Model star Yaya DaCosta as Houston and now she has her Bobby Brown.
News of the 33-year-old actor's casting was announced on Monday (14Jul14) when bosses at Lifetime - the channel behind the film - released a photo of the leading lady with Escarpata.
Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown has apologised for lashing out at Angela Bassett after the veteran actress refused to consider casting the 21 year old in a planned biopic about her superstar mum.
Bassett is due to make her directorial debut with the TV project for America's Lifetime network and she recently insisted the idea of casting aspiring actress Brown never crossed her mind because "acting is a craft".
Her comments infuriated Houston's only child and she slammed Bassett in a series of posts on Twitter.com, in which she questioned whether the star is really a woman. She wrote, "Ha MsAng 'bassketcase' (sic) has such a damn nerve my lord, at least the world doesn't mistake me for the wrong sex... "When I win my first Grammy or Oscar, *Shrugs* hmm whichever comes 1st, I'll be sure 2shout URname (your name) out b**ch! Hah (sic)..."
The online attack sparked a backlash among some of Brown's Twitter followers for her disrespectful remarks, prompting the youngster to make amends for her harsh words.
Returning to Twitter.com, Brown writes, "I'm a young woman who can admit her wrongs. 4who (sic) was offended I apologize BUT understand me before your (sic) quick to judge though."
Bassett has yet to comment on the fall-out. All My Children soap star Yaya DaCosta has been cast to portray the late singer in I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, which is expected to air next year (15).
Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown has lashed out at Angela Bassett after the actress revealed she never once considered the 21 year old as her potential leading lady in a planned TV biopic. Bassett, who worked with Houston on 1995 movie Waiting to Exhale, is set to make her filmmaking debut with the movie based on the superstar's turbulent life for America's Lifetime network, and she has cast All My Children actress Yaya DaCosta in the lead role.
She recently gave an interview to Entertainment Weekly about the project, tentatively titled I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, and appeared to take a swipe at aspiring actress Brown by claiming she wanted real talent for the job.
Bassett told the publication, "I did not think about casting her. And probably for a number of reasons, you know. One being that she's not an actress. I know she's acted here and there. I know she's been on their family's reality show, but she's not an actress and acting is a craft."
Her remarks did not sit well with Houston's daughter and Brown subsequently took to her Twitter.com blog to blast Bassett for her cutting comments and question whether the star is really a woman.
In a series of posts on Saturday (28Jun14), she wrote, "Ha MsAng 'bassketcase' (sic) has such a damn nerve my lord, at least the world doesn't mistake me for the wrong sex...
"When I win my first Grammy or Oscar, *Shrugs* hmm whichever comes 1st, I'll be sure 2shout URname (your name) out b**ch! Hah (sic)..."
Brown, whose father is R&B singer Bobby Brown, has only one acting credit to her name, in a 2012 episode of U.S. TV series For Better or Worse.
Bassett has also been criticised by Houston's manager and sister-in-law Pat Houston, who blasted the plans to turn the icon's life story into a TV project, insisting she is "certainly worthy of more than a television movie".
I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story is expected to air next year (15).
Bobby Brown marked Father's Day on Sunday (15Jun14) by reuniting with his daughter Bobbi Kristina. The New Edition star is believed to have been estranged from the 21 year old since the death of her mother, superstar singer Whitney Houston, in 2012, and even missed her wedding to Nick Gordon in January (14).
However, father and daughter were reunited this weekend (14-15Jun14) to mark Father's Day and Bobbi Kristina documented the meeting by posting a series of pictures on her Twitter.com page.
One of the shots shows Bobbi Kristina jumping into her dad's arms. She writes in a series of posts, "Out to dinner with daddy... #HappyHappyFathersDay! (sic)... #Happy Father's Day! (sic)."
Model-turned-actress Yaya Dacosta is preparing to bring Whitney Houston back to life on the small screen after landing the lead role in a planned TV biopic. Angela Bassett is stepping behind the camera to make her directorial debut with the project for America's Lifetime network, and she has cast The Butler star as the tragic R&B icon, according to TVLine.com.
The film, tentatively-titled I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, will focus on the singer's rise to fame, her turbulent marriage to Bobby Brown and her drug issues. It is expected to air next year (15). DaCosta rose to prominence as a competitor on reality TV show America's Next Top Model and has since established herself as an actress with roles on U.S. soap opera All My Children, medical drama House and comedy Ugly Betty.
Last year (13), she also landed a small part in Lee Daniels' The Butler. Houston's manager and sister-in-law, Pat Houston, recently blasted plans to turn the late superstar's life story into a TV project, insisting she is "certainly worthy of more than a television movie".
The Houston family is reportedly in the process of developing its own Whitney film, similar to Michael Jackson's This Is It concert documentary, which was released following his death in 2009.