Who Should Play Whitney Houston?

March 2, 2012  |  

When news of the possible Whitney Houston biopic got out, everyone had suggestions as to who should play the music legend. Not a week after her untimely death, young actresses and singers were penned as the “perfect women” to immortalize the Newark-born singer. Maybe as a way of coping, we thought how one-of-a-kind Whitney was and how great it would be to see her journey in film. A mix of great, bad and just wrong— we compiled a list of who’s been thrown out there for the role and who we think would be a good choice.

Meagan Good
Good says she was close with Whitney and they discussed her playing Houston in a biopic. She told E! Online they “were fairly in the beginning stages,” of carving out the film. Not sure if Good can pull the sassy, spirited personality  of Whitney off but we’d like to see her try.
Keri Hilson
Hilson has a lot of haters, we know. You may be one of them. But! She can carry a note and has great respect for Houston. Out of mere gratitude for Houston’s influence on young Black women, Hilson would probably do her best to play the role of a lifetime.
Rihanna
SMH. Just…sigh, SMH. Rihanna has supposedly been asked to audition for the role, but this is just a bad idea on five thousand levels. We doubt she can act (no shots, plain truth), she looks nothing like Whitney, sounds nothing like Whitney, and is a PR mess right now. Not a good look.
Jennifer Hudson
We love J-Hud as much as the next “Dreamgirls” fan, but just because she knows the woman’s songs and sang last-minute at the Grammy’s doesn’t mean she should play Whitney. Although Hudson is not a bad actress, her in this role just doesn’t seem like a good fit.
Jordin Sparks
The 22-year-old American-Idol winner has a hint of innocence with the strong drive that Whitney had in her early career. It would be interesting to see if she can tap into that “I’m Every Woman” attitude and make the most of the role.
Brandy Norwood 
This is still a bit of a sore spot. There’s no question that Brandy can sing and act. But her loose association with Whitney the night of her death put a shadow over her playing the role. “The Game” actress did love her Whitney though
Willow Smith
Maybe it’s a personal bias but just because your father has done a few good biopics, doesn’t mean you can too. For a young Whitney, she may work but her audition should get the same criticism less-famous pre-teens get.
Teiarra Mari
The Detroit-bred singer knows what it’s like to go from the hood to Hollywood. Outside of “Love & Hip Hop” the 24-year-old has acted (haha) in two movies and is looking for more challenging roles.
Raven-Symone
Since the age of toddler-hood Symone has been acting and most of her work has been for the kiddy circuit. Playing Whitney would again, be a challenge, and transition her into more serious acting. But we ain’t mad if she’s not interested, shoot…Disney pays well.
Anika Noni Rose
Threw you off with this one, hunh? But think about it. Rose would actually be perfect playing Whitney. She’s got the glowing skin of a teenage, but can also look older. She’s a great singer. Amazing actress. And looks most like “The Bodyguard” actress. Is our girl crush obvious?
Bobbi Kristina Brown 
Ok, obviously she’s grieving right now. But she was extremely close to her mother and no one in the world (besides Cissy) loved Whitney more. Her close relationship with her mother would help with the accuracy of the role. Plus, she already looks like her and the process may help her heal.
Thoughts? Anyone else who could play Whitney to-a-tee?

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  • JustAFan

    Debra Wilson who plays her on Mad TV , Esperanza i think thats her name or Bobbi christina. As far is this list NONE of them should play Whitney. Only person that may can pull off Whitney’s looks from this list is Keri Hilson with the right makeup and acting skills.

  • JACKIE

    i think you got a winner with ANIKA NONI ROSE

  • Tdhodges

    CeCe Winans as Cissy
    Bobbi Kris as a Young Whitney
    Eve as season Whitney

    I believe that Eve looks the most like Whitney out of all the people you selected and we don’t need another predictable person we need someone who can surprise us all just as Jamie did with “Ray”

    Eve girl you can do this part. 

  • Vanee6

    My vote is for JHud or Anika! If someone is going to do this film it needs to be done right.

  • according to Fadzi

    Based solely on looks I believe Paula Patton would be very convincing as Whitney.

  • Mother

    Keke Palmer will get it. In a couple of years she will be perfect for it, she can sing act and she has that attitude. Everyone else would look awkward doing it. And most of these ladies are way too old to pull off Whitney from 1985-95 when she was on top.

  • Ayo

    ExpandHELLO?!!!! WHY IS NO ONE CONSIDERING HER DAUGHTER Bobbi, who knows whitney houston more than her. 

  • Ayo

    i think her daughter should play her once she is ready

  • butch31

    Definitely not Jennifer Hudson. Brandy would the best candidate.

  • Allboutmoney9

    You forgot Wendy Raquel Robinson. On the game she sorta resembles and reminds me of Whitney. Especially in her drug days

  • blackbeauty

    MONICA

  • tuna

    http://www.playerwives.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/grooverevolt.jpg, put this link in your search bar, shes perfect and her acting skills are perfect ! Michelle Williams frm Destinys child

  • tuna

    Michelle Williams from Destinys Child  would be perfect, she sings and acts, has the look , she went gospel for a while.  google her pics and her acting, shes perfect

  • Gina

    Bobbi-Kris

  • Blacklova03

    Keke Palmer

  • Taktu

    Noone. Let her rest in peace, shes suffered enuff at the hands of the criminals who run the showbiz industry and who “suicided” her.

  • Sherra31

    I don’t know her name but she did a tribute to Whitney that I seen on FB which came from YouTube. Her voice was amazingly close to Whitney’s voice. Her acting abilities…..hhmm but J-Hud? I hate her trying to sing Whitney’s songs. Her voice is way too deep or heavy. “I Will Always Live You” tribute…didn’t like it.

  • Jaylove

    Its gotta be halle berry.. even check out that movie bodyguard they looked very identical.. but only halle berry

  • Kabrob1212

    I can see Anika, Vivica A. Fox and Bobbi Kristina being chosen..

  • Tshank32

    Monica….

  • im GLAD Fantaisa was not listed, the cow cant act! i dont care if she was in the Color Purple on Broadway…. psssh the Lifetime movie when she COULD NOT portray herself? Come on…

  • Atl_Finest

    Along with Rhianna can we stop with Kelly Rowland.  Most of the people talked about have not done enough dramatic movies to play Whitney.   That role will be deep and heavy.  U can’t have a 1st time actress.  Yes JHud pulled off an Oscar with her 1st role but it was a fictional character nobody gave a damn about.  We are talking bout NIPPY people.

  • Atl_Finest

    KeKe Palmer.  I am hoping the movie does not come out for another 5-10yrs.  If it’s rushed it will be garbage staring that big lips chick Megan Goode.   Can we stop saying Rhianna.  Hell, she couldn’t play herself if they did a movie bout the night Chris beat da dog sh!t out of her

  • Ladybug94

    I think Eve would be good to play Whitney, they actually kind of favor.  Not sure if she can sing but there’s always voice overs.

  • Laurawinslow

    I say Jurnee Smollett. O know she’s a bit light but shes thin and tal and can sing not to mention being an amazing actress

  • Tiffanyjone

    I think Mary J. Blige would be a excellent choice to play Whitney

  • Matilynburks

    None of the above, an unknown!

  • Netdandri

    I like Anika Noni Rose, Tamyra Grey, Joy Bryant or Zoe Saldana for Whitney.

  • Jamma

    Dahhh…Kelly Rowland.

  • Dreface2

    Though Whitney doesnt need a movie, if one was to be made I think Joy Bryant would be a good fit. We don’t need no one who can sing… Because all her songs would be lip sing anyway. Like Angela Bassett did for Tina’s movie.

  • nana

    Cindy Heron from the 1990s Envogue group: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1604882176/nm0380790

  • Elle8u

    Sanaa Latham… great actress with the drive, personality and spunk to carry this off. i.e. her role opposite Denzel in Out of Time, Tyler Perry’s The Family that Preys.

  • Stacey D

    Definitely it should be Joy Bryant. have you seen pics of Whitney from her early modeling days? Joy Bryant bears a striking resemblance to a young Whitney. This would be a great breakout role for her. I can definitely see her dancing around reenacting the I Wanna Dance with Somebody video. Plus, she’s from the East Coast like Whitney.
    If not her, then Anika Noni Rose or Tamyra Gray.

    Brandy, JHud, Rihanna…noooo!

    The role should have the actress lip sync just like Angela Bassett did as Tina Turner.

  • AdaraHolley81

    I think Monica would be great in terms of voice and looks.

  • Miss Dee23

    HELLO?!!!! WHY IS NO ONE CONSIDERING KELLY ROWLAND?!?

  • The author is a Rihanna hater to the fullest, smh. Throwing shade at her but nod for Megan Goode knowing she’s played out and would NOT be a good fit.

    Seems like you’re only interested in people who look similar to her, not based off of acting skills.

    Angela Bassett would slay, but maybe she’s too old. Raven seems like a good choice to me as well.

  • Naffy70

    TASHA SMITH but I know nobody hears me though lol.

  • Marcus

    Monica I think would be great because she could bring the attitude and diva flair that Whitney has. Anika Noni Rose is ok looks wise but it will take someone that has studied Whitney and been around her to get her personality right.

    • ThaTruthful1

       That Georgia accent is the obstacle since Whitney from Jersey.

  • Lisa

    I think Jennifer and Brandy is a great idea

  • Anto

    Um…No Kelly Rowland would make a great Whitney in a Biopic…the slim figure, the height, the skin tone and Kels has a great voice…I’m just saying.

  • IllyPhilly

    I just feel like her life was on blast enough to not have a movie made. I thought the same about BIG, but it made money and that’s what it’s all about right?

  • Ohillman125

    Joy Bryant is the best candidate for sure!

  • HIGHLYFAVORED249

    ROBIN THICKE WIFE

  • IMHO

    Audra McDonald from Private Practice. She’s a good actress, great singer, and has multiple Tony Awards to prove it.

  • Nana7

    Who wrote this article? So much shade! And your reasoning to why a person should play Whitney or not was inefficient. 

  • Ms_Butta

    Nona Gaye!!

  • Rmccray82

    Taraji or cece winans

  • TIAW

    I think Monica would do a good job

  • emily

    Debra Wilson

  • Toyaj09

    Monica

    •  Right, I like how they failed to mention her when Whitney was a huuuuuuuuuuge inspiration

  • SoTrue

    Isn’t it too early to be discussing this?! Whitney Houston isn’t even cold in her grave yet…

    • Netdandri

      Whitney was in talks about the movie before she passed

  • Richard

    I don’t see Bobbi Kristina in the role.  I mean no disrespect.  I just do not think it a good idea.  She does not look like Whitney either in my opinion.  I think it a bit of a stretch to say that.  The gap alone is a major difference and even if Hollywood could cover that up, Bobbi K. looks too much like Bobby B.  Nose and all. 

    I could see her involved in the production as a form of healing, but not in front of the camera as her mother.  It might do more harm than good and I would think that maybe she would want someone with some credibility to play her mother so that she gets honored properly.  Just my 2 cents.

    • Lisa Stevens

      I don’t think they wanted Bobbi Kristina in the movie. They were just saying that Brandy would play her in the movie

  • Lynetteoliver

    Keke Palmer!!!

  • Jordan

    I think Kerry Washington would be a good fit!

    • iking821

      My thoughts EXACTLY……

  • Fasho

    Megalyn Echikunwoke or joy bryant should play her and lip sing. NO wack R&B singer and no lame actresses that we already know of

  • Supjhn

    Rapper Eve

    • Jenn M Parks

      Really…That’s rediculous!

  • Superfly78

    I think it’s a tad bit too early to be talking about it…PERIOD! Whitney isn’t even cold in the ground yet!

  • MsLittlejohn

    We just had this convo on Bossip last week… Nobody we’ve heard of, nobody on this list for sure.

  • None of these ladies fit the role. Maybe Heather Headley, Ya Ya de Costa, or an up and coming actress, people will watch the movie regardless of the celeb factor, the story has to be strong

  • Kendrafjackson

    looks wise i would say Keri Hilson but her voice is no whitney. Anika Rose as well but they might have to find some one who is not a big name that can sang to have this work.

  • yardgyal

    Anika, apart from that NONE! Get an unknown and groome her…we dont need the biopic for another 2 years so.

  • N2002sjmb

    Tamyra Gray!! Has my vote!!

  • The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt

  • Tashasmith

    Joy Bryant. Looks like Whitney and has the same body type as Whitney. I believe the person doesn’t have to be a singer because no one can sing like Whitney. Not J-HUD or anyone. J-HUD is a great singer but not as good as Whitney. The person in the role should lip- sync just like Angela Bassett did in ” Whats live got to do with it”. No one could sing like Tina Tuner either. Thoughts?

    • GinaRed77

      @43a7d627ccd51cd0e34457eb0853e58a:disqus Totally agree! I always thought Joy Bryant bore a striking resemblance to Whitney…not to mention she has a very similar body frame. She’s a pretty good actress too. I definitely think she could pull off the role successfully with a little coaching. Whoever’s chosen should most certainly lip sync to Whitney’s vocals. I don’t care what their vocal talents/abilities may be. Whitney’s chops were truly one of a kind. Point. Blank. Period.

  • jhsting32

    Tika Sumpter could play Whitney also….I also think that they should use Whitney’s voice like they did with Angela Bassett in “What’s Love Got to Do with It”

  • I think Tamara Gray (from the 1st season of American Idol, and “The Gospel”) should be considered. She resembles Whitney (in her early career), and she can sing too. I dunno, just a thought..but JHud and Anika Noni Rose would be awesome too. 

    • Kendrafjackson

      thats a good idea i forgot all about Tamara

    • Sugar_Spice

      OOOOO I love that Idea

  • Toni Childs

    Golden Brooks all day! Talented and sassy.

  • Vintagebrat

    I would rather see Bobbi Christina play the role. Nobody in Hollywood can touch Whitney’s vocal abilities but she wasn’t the greatest actress, so why not give it to her child. And if all the rumors are true, she can sure use the money and it will give her something to focus on. If not, find an unknown because this list sucks.

  • Wisdom

    DO NOT cast some lame pseudo-singer (Keri Hilson, Rihanna, Tearra…and all the rest of dem Autotune Gals) in this role. That would be complete disrespect to Whitney, who was a master of her craft.
    DO NOT cast some lame wanna-be actress either (Maegan Good and the like). Whitney had some acting chops and the world saw it in The Bodyguard. Don’t disrespect this way either.

    Find a bonafide actress who can sing her butt off in her own right. Anika maybe? That’s on the right track. Maybe look to Broadway.

  • Sugar_Spice

    I think Viola Davis should play her.  I know that you all are thinking that she’s a little too old for this role but this is Hollywood were talking about. 

  • Cyp225

    Kelly Rowland

    • Buffy

      Not sure why Kelly didn’t make the list.  Either Kelly or Anika.

  • miamac63

    i think Halle Berry would be perfect and they can get an ‘unknown’ (but talented) to play the part of Bobbi. Depending on the timing to film such an epic bio, both Brandy and Bobbi may still be too immersed in grief to even consider a part. The others you guys highlighted or mentioned, in my humble opinion, are all wrong for the part, especially J-Hud, who’s voice is too big and hard to channel the seet soul and sounds of Whitney. Just saying..

  • “There’s no question that Brandy can sing and act.”
    LMAO!

    • 72

      Please Brandy is a horrible actress…….then again all opinions including mine are subjective……….

      • Netdandri

        I think Brandy is a very good actress.  She hasn’t done any really heavy roles, yet, but she’s good at what she does.

  • Freebee33

    Haven’t we done this already? smh

  • Pfeiffer87

    Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose are the only two decent actresses on this list.

    • Mkfergmd

      Monica