All Articles Tagged "whitney houston"

“Looking Like Bobby Is Not My Goal, Being Bobby Is My Goal” Arlen Escarpeta Talks Role In The Whitney Houston Biopic

July 25th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Whitney And Bobby feat

Source: Lifetime

When pictures of Yaya DaCosta and Arlen Escarpeta as Whitney and Bobby surfaced, people had all types of things to say. There were comments that Arlen looked too nice and decent to play Bad Boy Bobby, or too attractive. There were even people who said he looked gay. But more than anything people wondered, where is the gap?

Well, honey we’ve got answers for you. We had the chance to speak to Mr. Escarpeta about his experience working on the upcoming Lifetime movie, the Houston family’s objections, including Bobbi Kristina’s rant, his response to the backlash and why he was missing Bobby’s signature gap.

See what he had to say below.

 

What initially influenced you to go after this role?

The initial audition was clearly something that everyone went out for. Clearly, Angela as a director is something that immediately pulls you in. She’s going to draw a lot of actors being such a tremendous actress herself. And then you know Bobby and Whitney’s story. I grew up listening to Bobby Brown. And being able to play him from the inside out, versus from the media standpoint, from the outside in, I think that’s what pulled me in initially.

Were you a Bobby Brown fan?

Definitely. I entered a dance contest when I was younger. “Every Little Step I Take,” Tenderoni,” you can go down the list. Bobby Brown, he was the man when I was growing up. So, absolutely.

How did you prepare? Did you get insight on what Bobby was like off stage

There wasn’t much support from the family in regards to that. So what I did was try to watch as many interviews as I could with Bobby and Whitney together or just Whitney talking about Bobby, Bobby talking about himself, picked up a couple of books and tried to get as much insight as I could from that standpoint. And then the other thing that I did was really get behind Bobby and Whitney’s love for one another. I think that was really the mainstay for Bobby’s character. You know, hone in on that passion, that love that they have for one another.

Did you have any reservations about doing the film without the support of Whitney’s family?

Not many reservations, if any at all because I trust Angela as a director. And I know that if it wasn’t something that was going to be done with class and with respect, she wouldn’t have her name on it. If it wasn’t someone that I knew and that I trusted in that way, then I would have probably felt some type of way about it. But Angela being the upstanding and classy person and actress that she is–with Angela at the captain’s table I didn’t have any reservations as far as that was concerned.

How was Angela Bassett as director?

There were no days off. Everyday, she asked and she pulled and she wanted something from me. She wanted to feel and know that you understood who you were playing and to give it every single day. And that was a treat. Every single day, I learned something different. I learned something different about myself as an actor, something different about Bobby, something different about Whitney. There were so many days of discovery, just different pieces of the puzzle that all came together. And I attribute that to Angela because she was really, really, really one of the catalysts that pulled and pushed this whole thing forward. And I feel that any of the actors that worked with her would give her her credit in that regard.

What did you think about Bobbi Kristina’s comments against Angela Bassett?

Oh yeah I read what she said. I didn’t pay to much attention to it at all because honestly, she’s coming from a place of passion, she’s coming from a place of love. She loves, loves loves her mother, like any child would. It’s completely understandable. I’m certain if there was a place for her to be a part of the film, in front of the camera, I’m certain Angela would have found it for her. But given our schedule, the shooting schedule and exactly what Angela wanted…unfortunately it didn’t work out. If she brought something to the table that Angela thought she could have really, really utilized I’m certain she would have been there.

But then at the same time, you also have to ask yourself, certain times when it comes to films or tv shows, whatever, sometimes someone can be too close to the project or too close to the person and that can create an issue as well. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out but much respect to Bobbi Kristina, I more than understand where she was coming from, absolutely.

Have you received any backlash for this part? 

I didn’t receive any personal backlash. There were a couple of tweets here and there. Some people didn’t think I looked like Bobby, which is fine I’m an actor. It’s not my job to look like Bobby, it’s not a look-a-like contest. Looking like Bobby is not my goal, being Bobby is my goal. A little bit of backlash here and there. A lot of people saying I look gay in the picture…You know, it’s fine. I take it all in stride. For me, it’s par with the course. When you’re playing someone as iconic as Bobby Brown, you have to expect that there’s going to be some type of backlash or something specific that people are looking for. All I can say is, when the film comes out, take a look and then we can talk then.

Do you have someone singing for you, like Deborah Cox is singing, as Whitney, for Yaya DaCosta?

I’m not doing the singing myself. There’s a gentlemen by the name of Carlos Battey. He’s from a writing group called The Jackie Boyz. He covered “Every Little Step I Take.” I had a good time with it. I got to dance, I got to sing. I got to wear some of the loudest suits I’ve ever worn in my life. It was a good time. I got to go to dance rehearsal. I got to work with Fatima Robinson and her team of choreographers it was an amazing experience.

Please tell me that you sang “Something In Common” 

We alluded to it. In regards to some of the music clearances, we couldn’t do as much as we wanted to. We got to where we needed to be and I think that people who know the song will get it, but we didn’t get to go through the whole song, no.

So tell us why didn’t you have the gap?

The gap is definitely Bobby. Everybody knows Bobby for his gap. Unfortunately, with our shooting schedule, there’s a time constraint. And you know for a dental mold that would actually fit in my mouth properly, allow me to still act, allow me to still be able to lip synch and do all these different things, it just didn’t come into play. They played with a couple of different pieces and neither of those pieces really stood out and looked real enough. And at some point, the producers and myself and Angela as well, we agreed that it’d be best to go without the gap for the simple fact that if it’s going to look that bad and that not real, that would be even more of a disservice than not having the gap at all. And the acting has to come first. So if I can look like Bobby, like we were talking about before, but can’t play the part, that just wouldn’t work.

I look forward to hearing what people have to say and what they think. It was an amazing time, it was an amazing opportunity and you know, onwards and upwards.

The biopic won’t air until next year, so in the meantime, be sure to look out for Arlen in the new film “Into The Storm” in theaters August 8. 

First Look: Watch Yaya In Action As Whitney Houston + Angela Bassett Responds To Bobbi Kristina

July 23rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Jack Zeman/Lifetime Television/Arista

Jack Zeman/Lifetime Television/Arista

Despite the dissension from Cissy Houston and Bobbi Kristina, the Whitney Houston biopic is a go. And if you don’t believe me, you need look no further than the recent behind the scenes interview Entertainment Tonight conducted with director Angela Bassett, star Yaya DeCosta and vocalist Deborah Cox.

During the interview, Entertainment Tonight asked Bassett how she felt about Bobbi Kristina’s Twitter rant against her for not casting her in the film. Bassett, always a class act, said she understood where Bobbi Kristina was coming from.

“I respect anyone’s feelings and truths. So I mean, I can understand it. I can understand it. She adores her mother. And in this process, I lost my mother so I get it. And I love Bobbi Kristina.” 

About all the controversy, Bassett said while she was prepared for it, she hasn’t allowed it to get to her.

“With great opportunity there will be criticism, so you learn to expect that but you what you don’t need is to be going out looking for naysayers. You know, you have a job to do.”

And Yaya, who I thought was Whitney on first glance, shared a similar sentiment when she learned she had earned the role.

“I kind of shut off  all social media because I didn’t want to be distracted by the, you know, the expectations, you know the naysayers.”

Good thing, because there’s been quite a bit.

Check out the video of Yaya in action below.

From what you saw, what do you think about Yaya as Whitney? And then just go ahead and confirm how classy Angela Bassett is for handling Bobbi Kristina’s comments with such grace. She is a better woman than I.

“Let Her Rest” Cissy Speaks Out On The Whitney Houston Biopic

July 23rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Cissy Speaks Out On the Whitney Houston Biopic

Source: Getty Images

We could only assume that the Houston family didn’t support Lifetime making a Whitney Houston biopic. The family was not a part of the process and had not signed over any rights allowing the production to use her recordings. And then there was that very unbecoming outburst from Bobbi Kristina (for which she later apologized) in reference to Angela Bassett not considering her for the role of her mother.

Well now, Cissy Houston is stepping forward with a statement of her own regarding the biopic. And to put it simply, she’s not happy.

“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 Bobby.

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.”

Wow. It’s hard to read this and not take it as a direct jab to Angela Bassett, who is serving as director for this movie. We all know that she and Whitney famously worked on Waiting to Exhale together but it seems Cissy doesn’t feel that was enough to make a movie about her daughter.

Without the family’s approval, do you think that Lifetime should proceed with the film?

She Did That! Yaya DaCosta Replicates Whitney Houston’s Hit 1987 Album Cover [PHOTOS]

July 10th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
Share to Twitter Email This
Arista

Arista

This past Monday, we showed you the first look at Jimi Hendrix’s All Is By My Side biopic trailer with Andre 3000. In lieu of biopics, we are excited to present leading lady Yaya DaCosta of The Whitney Houston biopic replicating Houston’s hit 1987 album, Whitney.

Jack Zeman/Lifetime Television/Arista

Jack Zeman/Lifetime Television/Arista

According to Entertainment Weekly, DaCosta just recently began filming for the Lifetime movie, which is why this promo photo was released. The America’s Next Top Model veteran said of the pic:

“I just looked at the picture and did the pose!” 

The Whitney Houston biopic, directed by Houston’s Waiting To Exhale costar and friend Angela Bassett, will air in early 2015 via Lifetime Television Network. DaCosta was cast to play the late iconic singer despite Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina protests. Bobbie Kristina stated if there were to be a biopic based on her mother’s life, her mother would want her to have the leading role, but clearly Angela Bassett had something different in mind. She responded to BK’s claim, saying:

“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. It’s an attempt to illuminate the complexities of human behavior and life. And this is a very fast-paced schedule; we have just 21 days to tell this story. It’s more than just saying lines and turning the light on. You have to drive the story—there’s a technical aspect.”

According to the Lifetime Network, the Whitney biopic will revolve around: “the headline-making relationship between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model, and singer, songwriter Bobby Brown — from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage.  Throughout it all, difficulties followed the superstar couple while they dealt with the overwhelming rewards and consequences of the fame and fortune created by Whitney’s meteoric rise that would soon overshadow them both.”

Bassett noted the film will not cover Houston’s untimely death and by the looks of it DaCosta will give us a run for our money with her life-changing role.

Don’t you love DaCosta’s photo?

Kim Burrell Speaks On Whitney Houston Biopic: “Now That She’s Gone People Want To Say What They’ve Been Wanting To Say”

July 8th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
Share to Twitter Email This

Just about everyone has an opinion on the upcoming Lifetime Whitney Houston biopic, from fans of the international superstar, to the singer’s family, and the director of the film, Angela Bassett. Adding one more point of view to the pot, we asked gospel artist Kim Burrell how she feels about the upcoming TV movie and all of the controversy around it at the annual McDonald’s 365 Black Awards in New Orleans during Essence Festival. Though Kim isn’t involved with the film at all, she did tell us she’s working on a separate documentary about Whitney Houston, saying whichever project people support, she hopes fans will get to know and love her friend of almost 16 years the way she did. Check out the interview above and see what she had to say.

 

Saaaang Chile! Secular Singers Who Started In The Church

July 8th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
Share to Twitter Email This

There has always been a connection between gospel and secular music and some of the most popular artists have gotten their start singing in the church choir before making a name for themselves in mainstream music. For more on the black church, check out the new Moguldom Studios documentary “Black Church Inc.” available on iTunes and Google Play now.

Singers Who Started In The Church

WENN

Whitney Houston

Dubbed “The Voice,” Whitney Houston’s powerful pipes helped her become one of the best-selling singers of all time. But before she conquered the world of R&B and crossed over to become an international pop icon, the “I Will Always Love You” singer honed her natural talents at the church. She first stood in the spotlight singing in the choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey where her mother was the choir director. After suddenly passing away in 2012, Houston returned to her childhood church for her homegoing service.

Bobbi Kristina Apologizes For Calling Angela Bassett A Manly B-Word, But Says Bassett Was Disrespectful Too

July 2nd, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This
Bobbi Kristina goes after Angela Bassett over Whitney biopic casting decision.

Source: WENN

We told you earlier this week that after Angela Bassett explained why she didn’t pick Bobbi Kristina to play Whitney Houston in the biopic Bassett is working on for Lifetime (because BK is not a trained actress…made sense to me), Bobbi Kristina tried to take a shot at the Academy Award nominee and acting legend.

“Ha! Ms. Ang “basket case” has such a damn nerve. My Lord, at the least the world doesn’t mistake me for the wrong sex. She has #XTRAequipment.”

“When I win my first Grammy or Oscar, *Shrugs* hmm whichever comes 1st, I’ll be sure 2 shout UR name out b**ch ! hah Ur Test Results= MALE. Lmao”

Yes, it was quite the immature response. And Bobbi Kristina must have realized that she was way too into her feelings, because she decided to take to Twitter yesterday to apologize for talking crazy about Bassett, and to also vow to make her late mother proud.

But Bobbi Kristina also took some time to chat with followers about feeling that the way Bassett spoke about not picking her to play Whitney for the movie was kind of disrespectful. BK says she’s the bigger person because she publicly apologized for her words:

Twitter

Twitter

What do you think of Bobbi Kristina’s apology? And was Bassett a little hard on her by speaking about Bobbi’s acting abilities in public instead of addressing her first? Talk about it below.

Remembering Our Babies: Famous Women Who Suffered Miscarriages

July 2nd, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
Share to Twitter Email This

Welcoming a child into the world can be one of the world’s most rewarding experiences. However, these celebrities experienced heartache and pain after having a miscarriage.

Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Beyonce

Soon after Beyonce tied the knot to Jay Z, folks were wondering when music’s biggest couple would produce an heir. During her performance at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, the former Destiny’s Child member revealed to the world that she was with child. After the birth of Blue Ivy, her hubby Jay Z devoted a song to the newborn and in it he revealed that the couple felt the loss of losing their unborn child when Beyonce had a miscarriage the previous year. She has called it one of the saddest periods in her life.

‘She’s Not An Actress:’ Angela Bassett Explains Why Bobbi Kristina Was Not Cast In The Whitney Houston Biopic

June 27th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Lifetime seems to be one huge nest of controversy these days. In addition to receiving backlash over their forthcoming Aaliyah biopic, they’re also facing quite a bit of criticism regarding their film about the life of iconic singer Whitney Houston. The film’s director, Academy Award-nominated actress Angela Bassett, recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about all of the hoopla, and she says she’s not really affected by negative things being said or written about the project.

“It would [affect me] if I read it,” the 55-year-old beauty explained. “I’m sure if it would if I read it, because I’m a feeling person. But I don’t read it, because I want to stay in this place where I’m working with folk who have come to the table and care about this person. And it’s just not by and large another job. We care about the humanity of this woman and man, telling their story. I know it was going to be told, so I’m so humbled that it was put in my hands to tell it. So I’m going to protect it to the best of my abilities. I’m not going to read those negative comments because everyone has something to say.”

The film will center around Whitney’s relationship with former husband, R&B bad boy Bobby Brown, which is arguably one of the most “controversial aspects” of the late singer’s life.

“I reflect it back on the moment I first saw them together,” Angela reminisced. “It was when I was doing ‘Exhale.’ We were all on set in the living room together and [Bobby] came to visit. I, like everyone else, had some preconceived idea … people just looked at a photograph or picture of them together and thought ‘They’re incongruous.’ ‘They don’t go together.’ ‘Why is she with him?’ I think that was usually the question, not ‘Why is he with her?’ They could imagine her with someone else who does something else, who carries himself [differently], who looks somehow different.

“We didn’t see any commonality between them and we, having nothing to do with their lives, [shared] our opinions and perception. We didn’t do it with anyone else, very few people. So that’s enormous. But that moment I had, where he visited the set, he made a very strong impression on me.”

The couple’s battle with substance abuse will also be present in the film.

“Well, we know that drugs were a part of their story and that’s certainly an element of their story. We can’t tell their story without that. It’s involved, and I hope we can unpack it gently.”

Unlike the Aaliyah biopic, which will feature re-recorded versions of the deceased singer’s most popular hits, Angela says producers didn’t face any trouble securing Whitney’s music for the movie. However, as we’ve previously reported, Whitney’s family isn’t actually on board with the project.

“They’re not participating,” the iconic actress explained. “We reached out to them in the early days; of course we’re not going to do the movie and not say anything to them. You can if you’re using public domain, but that’s not our desire. We paid our respects and let the conversation be had, just to get their okay. They certainly could have been not involved and against it.”

The film, however, will not address the singer’s untimely passing.

“That’s one of the things I do appreciate about the story at least, with this first story about her. We’re not interested in dragging her life again through, you know, the muck. She had to play out her choices, and the consequences of them, in a very hot, glaring spotlight, but we’re not interested in dragging that through again.”

She adds that if the script did include Whitney’s death, she wouldn’t have agreed to do the project.

“That’s one reason why I’m on board. Otherwise, you walk away. You walk away from it. It’s not worth it to me. Not as a black woman to do that to the life of another black woman, who was amazing and lovely.”

As far as casting goes, Angela says that she never really considered casting Whitney’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina. You may recall that Krissy came forward and said that she should’ve been cast in the film.

“I did not think about that. 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. It’s an attempt to illuminate the complexities of human behavior and life. And this is a very fast-paced schedule; we have just 21 days to tell this story. It’s more than just saying lines and turning the light on. You have to drive the story—there’s a technical aspect.”

Thoughts?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “The Bodyguard”

June 9th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

the-bodyguard-
I was relatively young when The Bodyguard came out. But I know the movie well because my mom and her friends were always watching and talking about it. It was a hit with all types of audiences, and particularly black women. So chances are you’ve seen it again and again but we bet you don’t know these behind the scenes secrets. Check them out.