I Wanna Dance with Somebody has assembled a solid cast. Here's a look at who the actors have played in real life and what other projects they've worked on.
Directed by Kasi Lemmons from a screenplay by Anthony McCartenWhitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody is directed by Anthony McCarten, the writer who wrote "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody." A Star Wars actress was seen in the main role. The film follows Whitney Houston's life in chronological order, from her teenage years to her tragic death in 2012. The film is one of several that focus on Houston's life and career.
The casting of a music biopic is important. There's a lot going on in playing a character based on a real-life person. Whitney Houston is one of the most famous female singers of her generation, and is still remembered today, says I Want to Dance With Somebody executive producer Stella Meghie told The Hollywood Reporter that it took the better part of a year to find someone to properly portray the late singer. Enter Naomi Ackie, who was chosen to embody the character of Whitney Houston, and she leads a group of actors who care deeply about their characters.
Naomi Ackie as Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston was an internationally renowned singer who rose to fame in the 1980s and became a household name in the music industry. Houston is one of the best-selling artists of all time. In 2012, she accidentally drowned due to a heart attack and cocaine. The late Whitney Houston was played by Naomi Archie in "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." Ackie is best known for her roles in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in which she played Jenna, Lady Macbeth, and the Netflix series Masterless and Armageddon.
Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis
Clive Davis is a noted record producer who has worked with labels such as Columbia Records and RCA Music Group. He founded Arista Records, the label to which Whitney Houston was signed. Davis worked with the late singer from the beginning to the end of her career and is considered a good friend of Houston during her lifetime. Clive Davis is played by Stanley Tucci, best known for roles in The Spotlight, The Lovely Bones, The Devil of Prada, The Hunger Games films, starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep starred in Easy A, Julie and Julia, Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: The Avengers and Terminal.
Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown
Bobby Brown is a singer and songwriter. He was primarily known as the husband of Whitney Houston, whom Brown married in 1992, especially as the pair's family troubles and drug use came into the public eye later in life. Bobby Brown is played by Ashton Saunders, best known for his roles in Barry Jenkins' critically acclaimed Moonlight, The Equalizer 2, TV series Wu-Tang: An American Legend, Judas and the Black Messiah and Native Son.
Nafessa Williams as Robyn Crawford
Robin Crawford is Whitney Houston's best friend and creative director. Robin also remained close to the late singer. Robyn Crawford is played by Nafessa Williams, best known for playing Anissa Pierce (aka superhero Thunder) in the Arrowverse series Black Lightning. Williams has also been in Black and Blue, Twin Peaks, Chance on Vacation and the TV movie Whitney, which also follows the life of Whitney Houston and is directed by Angela Bassett directed.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody Supporting Cast & Character Guide
Tamara Tunie as Cissy Houston - Cissy Houston is Whitney Houston's mother and singer. She made her career as a backing vocalist for Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin. Cissy Houston is played by Tamara Tunie, best known for her roles on the soap opera series As the World Turns, Flight starring Denzel Washington, and the series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where she played Chief M.E. Dr. Melinda Warner, The canceled Netflix series Cowboy Bebop and the Apple TV+ series See starring Jason Momoa.
Clarke Peters as John Huston - John Huston was Whitney Houston's father and manager, who lent money to his daughter during her music career. John Huston is played by Clark Peters, best known for roles in Da 5 Bloods, John Wick, the action movie starring Keanu Reeves, the critically acclaimed TV series The Wire, and a three-block ad outside Albin, Missouri Cards, the Marvel Netflix series Jessica Jones, Jericho and the Suspect.
Bria Danielle Singleton as Bobbi Kristina Brown - Bobbi Kristina is the daughter and only child of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. Bobbi Kristina is played in I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Bria Danielle Singleton, the actress from Thunderforce and the hit sitcom Fresh Off the Boat. Bailee Lopes played Bobbi Kristina from 8 to 10 years old. The Whitney Houston biopic is Lopez's first feature role.
Andrea Eversley as Barbara - Barbara is the woman John Huston has an affair with. Andrea Eversley's only other role was in the movie Detroit.