Why Rihanna As Whitney Houston Just Won’t Work

February 28, 2012  |  


By now you’ve heard that there are several actresses in the running for the coveted role of our fallen icon Whitney Houston. Names like Meagan Good, Jennifer Hudson and even Vivica Foxx made it into the conversation. While I can’t visualize any of these women taking on this role none of those names surprised me.

The name that did shock me: Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty.

Huh? I’m genuinely shocked that this is even a plausible suggestion right now. There are just so many reasons why this can’t be.

But some people are really gunning for the girl to get this role. For instance, today Vibe Vixen made a list of five reasons why Rihanna should play Whitney. They ran down a list of similarities like the trajectory of their careers and abusive relationships. And took leaps with stretches like they both look alike and have a similar stage presence. I’m not sold on those last two but overall I was surprised at how much these two just might have in common.

Commonalities aside though, Rihanna as Whitney should not happen.

For one, if I’m going to see a Whitney Houston biopic, I know Whitney’s not going to be on the screen but I at least want to forget that I’m not looking at Whitney. Does that make sense? Think back to some of the best biopics we’ve seen. When you watch “Malcolm X,” you don’t see Denzel. The fight scene in the car during “What’s Love Got to Do With It” is between Anna Mae and Ike, not Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. That’s Selena getting shot, not J Lo.  All of those performances, especially Denzel as Malcolm X, managed to convince us, if even for a brief moment, that these actors became these iconic figures.

While Rihanna’s acting abilities may be questionable, this is not about that, remember J-Lo was relatively new to the acting game when she played Selena. This is about the fact that if Rihanna gets this role, we’ll see Rihanna and only Rihanna.

Think about it, this woman is probably the most photographed artist today, there’s not a day that goes by where she’s not on someone’s blog. That overexposure alone won’t allow her to take on a role of this magnitude for what would be her second acting gig. (She’s supposed to be in “Battleship” later this year.)

If that wasn’t enough for you, just last year the singer said, when asked about rumors of being in “The Bodyguard” remake, that she does not want to play a singer:

“I hate it when singers do singing movies all the time, because you can never look at them as anybody else. I want to play a character. My whole life is playing Rihanna; being a singer won’t be a stretch for me.”

Well, there you have it. If she doesn’t want to play a singer, then Whitney, a woman known as “The Voice,” is pretty much out isn’t it?

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