Whitney Houston actress Naomi Ackie says there ‘aren’t enough parts for Black women’

Brit actress Naomi Ackie landed the coveted role of Whitney Houston in new biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

And while, when asked if she fears a backlash from American actresses whose feathers were ruffled by a British woman landing the role of American Whitney, she admits she is, but says the issue is bigger than that.

She says there are "not enough parts for Black people and people of colour in general."

"So really, the problem isn’t with me playing Whitney, the problem is with the higher-ups not investing in the right places," she says.

"Obviously, that is a really big thing. But what I also understand is me, as a Black woman being in this industry, I am going to p*** off some people.

“Am I worried? Yeah, but I’m trying to do this thing where I don’t worry about what people think about me any more. Because what am I going to do? I’ll deal with it when it comes.”

Naomi took on the role of Whitney following appearances in the Star Wars franchise and Netflix drama The End Of The F**king World. She admits she "overdid it when it came to research" on the life of the iconic pop star who passed away in 2012.

.“I knew [the script] off by heart and it was becoming something that I was scared to look at. The research and looking at Whitney’s videos – I think I’ve seen every single one on YouTube countless times – became like a prison. It took a toll on my mental health.”

The star from Walthamstow, London said her anxiety around playing Whitney was born out of a desire to make her portrayal as believable as possible.

“Perfectionism is a dangerous thing,” she says. “I think there is this kind of struggle about being a people pleaser when you’re a performer. 

"The biggest thing for me was going, ‘OK, once you’re 70% there with the accent and once you’re 70% there with the body and 70% there with the character work, the rest of it can’t be perfect. It shouldn’t be perfect.’”


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