By Brooklyn Reader

January 14, 2015, 9:56 am



Yaya DaCosta (left) will play Whitney Houston in Lifetime Original Movie and biopic “Whitney”


The much-anticipated world premiere of the Lifetime Original Movie “Whitney,” featuring Crown Heights’ own Yaya DaCosta will be this Saturday, January 17, at 8pm ET.

Actress Angela Bassett makes her directorial debut in the biopic, with Arlen Escarpeta playing the role of Bobby Brown.

Nearly three years after Whitney Houston’s shocking death at age 48, the movie focuses on the relationship between the iconic singer, actress and model Whitney Houston and singer and songwriter Bobby Brown, chronicling the time the two first met, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage.


Yaya DaCosta

Yaya DaCosta first came to fame as the winner of cycle 3 of “America’s Next Top Model.” She has also starred in Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” and on  “All My Children.

Houston’s vocal performances in the film are sung by Deborah Cox. The music featured in the film includes Houston’s hits “The Greatest Love of All,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” “I’m Every Woman” and “I Will Always Love You” as well as Brown’s “Every Little Step.”

Whitney Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, has been vocal about her and her family’s objections to the biopic.


Yaya DaCosta with actor Arlen Escarpeta will play Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown in Lifetime Original Movie “Whitney”

“The family and the Estate are very disappointed that Angela Bassett never personally reached out to an immediate family member about this project … Since no one from immediate family was contacted, nor have seen the film, we cannot help but question the veracity of a story about Whitney and Bobby’s personal relationship,” Pat Houston, president of The Whitney Houston Estate, said in a statement to “Nightline.”

“Her life story – even a portion – should be dominated by people who value the merit of her life, not by a group that chose to present the weakest cycle of her life. Unfortunately, there’s nothing inspiring, liberating or uplifting about this project.”

But Bassett said that “it is an honest portrayal.”

whitney-620x400“It may not be truthful, because who can know each and every truth in every situation,” said Bassett.

And while Basset did like the movie’s script, she told “Nightline,” it does neglect to include one important thing: “Something that I thought was omitted was her spirituality, which was a key component of who she was.”

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