Naomi Ackie transforms into Whitney Houston in the new trailer for the upcoming biopic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”.
The clip follows the singer’s journey to stardom, with her saying at one point: “Look, I don’t know how to sing Black, and I don’t know how to sing white either. I know how to sing,” after she was told her music wasn’t Black enough.
She goes from small venues to stadiums, singing the movie’s titular track in the background.
Ackie tells People of playing such an iconic star, “She’s been elevated in my life for so long that it felt like an impossible thing to achieve at times.
“But so many people told me the same thing: If I wasn’t scared and nervous, they’d think something was wrong with me…. The biggest challenge was letting my fear of the magnitude of this task take a back seat. Nothing good comes from sitting in fear for too long.”
Ackie spoke with ET about playing Houston last May, just after her casting was announced, and she made a point to assure fans everywhere that she was “doing the work” to prepare for the massive role.
“I’m going to try my best because that woman — it sends shivers down my spine how much she means to me, the world, Black women, African-American women,” she said at the time. “I’m going to throw my everything into making sure she is represented properly.
“I just want to tell her story. And I think when I’m able to simplify it down to that, I’ll be able to handle the pressure.”
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is set to be released in December.