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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  • Hell to the NO!

  • I think Monica should play Whitney Houston….. Perfect woman fo the role.

  • TRE

    Not gonna work Megan Good should play whitney NOT rihanna

  • Jess B

    I am a fan of Rihanna, I love her music and I adore her face, but I don’t think she should play Whitney AT ALL. Do I have a reason? Nope. I just don’t.

  • Dear_Heart

     I’m not tryna bust Rihannas acting chops but she looks too exotic to play a young Whitney up until her death. Secondly I wouldnt be able to hear past her accent. This isn’t the role for her. Whoever started this thought should be fired. Some people on here had some good suggestions though. Monica could pull it off and I’m sure Whitney would approve. (Remember, I know you can shoop…. lol). Anika could pull it off too because she’s gorgeous, can act and can sing her behind off even though they’d have Whitneys voice cover most of the singing. But I wanna throw an unknown. Tiffany Evans. Little girl, big voice.

  • Candacey Doris

    I don’t think she would be goo as Whitney. I don’t see her as an actress. I just hope whoever they pick can ACT, we can always have them lipsync the songs.


    can she act cause she can NOT SING ITS AND INSULT TO WHITNEY please find someone anyone else…

  • Beautiful_Skye

    my personal choice to play whitney in a biopic would be either Taraji P. Henson, Joy Bryant, or Zoe Saldana.  i’m leaning more toward Taraji because i think she’s an incredible actress with incredible range and she would be entirely believable.  i would pick Jamie Foxx to play Bobby Brown since he’s already done impressions of him during his days with “in living color”.  and i would want to see camille winbush play Bobbi Kristina.  

  • Cherry

    Ageed 100% with this piece
    And let’s not forget that little point about her not being able to actually sing ………….. (just saying)

  • NSimonefan

    Rihanna made it clear that she would not play a singer.  It’s her fans who said they wanted her to play the Whitney Houston role.  With that said, this article wasn’t even necessary to write.

  • Nikkita Michelle

    Can Rihanna drop her accent?  It’s slight, but you can still hear it quite a bit when she speaks and that would be important.

  • Dmissy

    Why not get an unknown for the role. BTW all of you saying Anika Bono Rose, there is one problem. She is too short. Whitney was tall and a model

    • Dmissy

      Sorry meant Noni, Damn auto correct

  • Another day, another dollar

  • Greybeard


  • Msmykimoto2u

    You are right about seeing Selena being shot and not J-lo. even as famous as she is not, still to this day, I see Selena when I watch that movie. I dont know whats happened to her acting since then…Anywho, Rihanna doesnt even come close to having that stage presence that Whitney had. And no they dont look alike

  • Bboyd_sport1

    I think tamyra gray from one of the earlier seasons of american idol would be the perfect choice!!! Look her up on you tube…that girl cam saaanngggg!!

    • ThaTruthful1

       Thank you!!…My other choice would be Kelly Rowland.

  • Aisha

    If I were a producer and really wanted a movie that’ll sell, Rihanna won’t be my choine for Whitney. Whitney was a loved woman by people of all generations. Rihanna is a good artist though with a very controversial image, which might sell with the younger generation but I’m sure many older Whitney fans won’t want to watch the movie if Rihanna plays this part. I will actually go out to look for a new face, to play Whitney. Just like how J-Hud was really brought into the spotlight after Dreamgirls. I’m sure there’s a strong voice out there with beautiful acting skills that will nail this part, maybe even win awards for this movie. *just saying*

  • tjg_YO

    Anika Noni Rose would be great…ii think the only thing rihanna & whitney have in common is that they’re both slim. Jen Hudson is who i’m hoping for..she has everything but the looking to match whitney (as in similar faces, jen is beautiful) but make up can do wonders, she would do a great job

  • Abc

    They are rushing way to quick to do this movie. It’s all about money. You don’t need a singer. Angela Bassett lipsung when she was Tina turner. You just need the right look, and finesse and sassy attitude that Whitney embodied. It’s too soon for a Whitney movie. And plus, I’m still grieving.

    • It is way too soon. 

    • Babyboy

      I agree, people forget that non singers play singers all the time in movies. Although Rihanna is not a belter like Whitney, her singing works for the kind of music she does, which is dance pop. For some reason, I think Rihanna will surprise many with her acting chops. I do believe she can do good in acting. I think her built resembles Whitney, give her a chance you never know what she could do.

      • Cherry

        No thank you kind sir, I’ll pass on that!

  • Anonymous

    Joy Bryant resembles a young Whitney, in her modeling days…she’s not a super known actress. She’s a former model, like Whitney, and from the east coast as well. This would be a big break for her.

  • IllyPhilly

    When the f*ck is the Rick James bio coming out?

  • oh you meant besides the fact that her voice pales in comparison to Whitney and that she can’t sing…….. well alrighty then

  • Sf

    Anika Noni Roseis is the only one i can see doing Whitney justice…..she would play the part perfectly and she kinda has similar features to her….

    • sf

      and she can sang that woman is known for broadway and don’t forget how well she did in Dreamgirls….another person i can see doing it is Renee Elise Goldsberry i love that chick she also has the beauty and vocals to play that role and both of these women grew up in church…

  • Guest

    Just a tad confused, since when does an actress’ personal life need to be synonymous with the role for them to be chosen? That sounds dumb. If anything they should be looking for the voice & maybe a slight similarity in looks (other than acting abilities). LOVE me some Rihanna but the fact that this is even an article, let along a consideration sounds like y’all just want controversy.

  • Prissy

    I AGREE with this article!!! Monica MAY be able to pull it off because she is THIN like Whitney, can SING, and she has had some “troubles” in her past life. I can also see Nia Long as well. MAYBE Vivica A. Fox can redeem herself with the “Black movie lovers” crowd …. But other than that… NO one really stands out. And as MUCH as I LOVED Mama Whitney, she wasn’t the best at “acting” either. 

  • Angiela

    Anika Noni Rose or Joy Bryant. maybe even her daughter Bobbi Kristina

    • Be

      Anika Noni Roseis is the only one i can see doing Whitney justice…..she would play the part perfectly and she kinda has similar features to her….

  • hmm

    idk…Sanaa Lathan, Taraji Henson, Gabrielle Union, Keri Hilson might be best physically, but yea pretty much anybody else lol!! I want to see Rihanna act but not as Whitney! lol


      or Halle Berry! lol

  • Jerri (Jerusalem)

    First of all, her accent is the most off thing! How can I pay attention to Whitney’s story with Rihanna’s voice playing any importance! DUMB. They dont look the same, they dont sound the same, and they definitely dont have anything other than abusive exes in common.

  • Rihanna playing Whitney?  That doesn’t even sound right. 

  • i think that Holly Robinson-Pete would the best person for the role, oan: i know that she was too close to Whitney Houston so that might not happen. maybe sanaa lathen, taraji p. henson, or nina long or even jennifer hudson could do the movie

    • yes

      NIA LONGGGG!!! yessss lol

  • Sha

    I am a fan of Rihanna however I am not a fan of her playing the role of Whitney! NO explanation needed or required! It just won’t work!

  • 206

    I think Monica should play her, play the role of Whitney Houston.  She has the vocals, not sure about her acting, but anyone with some money and determination can hire an acting coach and put the time and effort into it.  I hope the role doesn’t go to Rihanna.

    • Msmykimoto2u

      Oooooo yes! I didnt even think of Monica but she would be perfect! I hope they are listening to us!

    • I think Monica would be perfect for the role. I been saying that all along.

  • Mariah

    This Bytch CANNOT sing should be the number one reason she doesn’t get this role.  They need to get somebody with vocals. I like Rihanna’s personality but her music sucks and I can’t even begin to see her somewhere trying to act.  Has she even done any acting at all? Ever? They would even do better getting an unknown actress who has  singing ability..Not Rihanna, say it ain’t so..

    • TAMARA

      Rihanna will play in the upcoming movie Battleship….don’t know when it comes out or how she will be in it. However her playing Whitney…..#the funniest thing I’ve heard this year.

  • DoinMe

    Your argument was nowhere near persuasive or convincing, and it sounds like you too have jumped on the anti-Rihanna bandwagon paid for by Jay-Z. SMH

    Who’s to say we won’t see Whitney in Rihanna. Out of all of the actresses named, I think Rihanna would be perfect. I’m sure that she can relate to many of Whitney’s struggles.

    • Nina Dashotta

      Lmao like what?!?!?! Rihanna is no drug user or recovering. Rihanna has no kids and NEVER been married furthermore RIHANNA is from a quaint little island and NEVER started singing in a church choir, hell she wasn’t even raised in the church…WE WONT see Whitney in her..at all. Rihanna shares no struggles or lifestyle with Whitney. Sit your Rihanna licking but down.cant even believe you began to try and say Rihanna would be a better fit for Whitney…smmfh!

      • 1 love

        VANESSA SIMMONS WUD DO… if she can act

      • Ay

        i’m pretty sure Rihanna is a drug user……………………

      • DoinMe

        First of all, Im not a Rihanna fan and don’t listen to her music. Second, of all of the actresses named she is by far the only one that shares 3 of Whitneys biggest issues; drugs, a bad boy, and industry woes. Rihanna is wild just as Whitney was. As far as her singing, I’m sure they would use Whitneys tracks, so she would be lip syncing.

        • guest1

          DOINME….you FAIL miserably on this argument, step away from your keyboard NOW. #tryingtodisrespectWhitney.  SMDH

      • Pivyque

        It’s called ACTING. The point is to BECOME the character..not already BE the character.

    • TAMARA

      So your saying that the person who wrote this post is on the Anti-Rihanna bandwagon….#rollseyes. However wouldn’t you be a Rihanna butt kisser for saying she would be PERFECT for the role of Whitney Houston…..even though she doesn’t resemble her….doesn’t sing like her…or anywhere near her…and more importantly doesn’t share any of the same struggles that she did…..#confused

    • Lola

      First of all why would Jay Z have an anti Rihanna campaign? She makes him money. Secondly, can we get an actress that can at least fake lip synching Whitney’s voice convincingly? We all know Rihanna sounds like a decapitated goat when she sings, and there’s no way an audience will be able to reconcile Whitney’s voice coming out of Rihanna’s mouth. No mam!

    • I’m anxious to see Rihanna act in something soon. It’d be nice to see her in a drama, where she can play a character very different from who she actually is. Good luck to her though.