Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind the Making of “Waiting to Exhale”

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Close Casting Calls

It’s only natural that all the hot black actresses of the day would want to be a part of this potentially awesome film. Actresses Halle Berry and Robin Givens both auditioned for the role of “Robin.” But Forest Whitaker decided that after he’d cast big names like Whitney Houston and Angela Basset, he wanted to go for lesser-known actresses. Which is where Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon came in. (Even though Loretta was already well-known in her own right for her role as Lorrell Robinson in Dreamgirls.)

Earlier, when Bassett was filming Malcolm X, she met Terry McMillan. McMillan told Bassett that she wanted her for the lead role of “Savannah” but Angela said she preferred Bernadine, claiming she was drawn to the character. Good thing. Only someone with Bassett’s skills could portray Bernadine properly.

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