The new biopic I want to dance with someone has only been out for about a week, but the film is making waves with Whitney Houston fans worldwide. The film, which received critical acclaim as the first authorized biopic of Houston’s life, features a gripping plot, danceable songs and realistic performances by the cast. Leading the talented cast is Naomi Ackie, a British actress who has appeared in projects such as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Ackie worked hard to transform into Houston, and as she revealed in a recent interview with Graham Norton, she became totally immersed in the world of Houston, a dedication that required mastering the singer’s signature accent.
I want to dance with someone describes the life and career of Whitney Houston, a singer who helped define the landscape of American music. From her early days as a church choir singer to the early stages of her career after forging a friendship with record producer Clive Davis, the film explores her rags to riches story and her personal demons.
According to IMDb, the film highlights many of Houston’s greatest career moments, culminating in her epic performance at the 1994 American Music Awards. I want to dance with someone then ends with Houston’s final days when she dies in a hotel after taking drugs.
Naomi Ackie physically transformed to portray Whitney Houston, diving deep to master her accent and mannerisms. As the actor revealed in a recent interview with talk show host Graham Norton, the people who worked on the film were shocked to hear her real voice. “People freaked out when they heard my British voice. I spoke as Whitney on set and afterwards I was like, ‘Damn, that’s been a tough day!'” joked Ackie.
She also said that after mastering the accent, she had to relearn it all over again after fitting it with Flippers: false teeth that helped her match Houston’s smile. “I had been working on the accent for six months and thought I had it figured out, but then the sudden onset of false teeth meant I had to relearn it all over,” Ackie said. At the end of the day, Ackie had to take a step back from Houston’s music, telling Norton and the other guests, “I had to take a break because I was really immersed in their world. But now I’m listening to her to remind me of some of the moments I had filming. It was such a defining time in my life and career that I look back on it fondly.”
I want to dance with someone has received mixed reviews overall, with a 43% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience rating of 92%. While many claim the film is riddled with clichés, Ackie’s performance has received plenty of praise. One critic remarked, “An excellent Ackie reminds us of Whitney’s talent as a performer, but she plays an icon, not a person. ”
Another reviewer describes how “(director) Lemmons allows Houston to write her own musical epitaph, and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” brings Ackie to the mesmerizing moment she deserves.” With so many critics and fans who Praising Ackie for her hard work and dedication, it seems likely that the actress is ready for her big break in Hollywood.