Angela Bassett recently defended her decision not to cast Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in the upcoming biopic about the iconic singer’s life after Bobbi Kristina released an online rant on Twitter in May.
Bassett has had an interesting set of obstacles to deal with ever since she was chosen to be the director for the Houston biopic, including backlash from the late singer’s own daughter about not being cast to play her mother.
Instead, Bassett hired Yaya DaCosta to take on the role.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bassett said she focused on acting talent not on relationships.
And although Houston’s daughter made it very clear that she was unhappy with not being cast for the lead role in the made-for-TV biopic, Bassett explained that she had reasons for not casting her.
“One being that she’s not an actress,” Bassett said. “I know she’s acted here and there. I know she’s been on their family’s reality show, but she’s not an actress, and acting is a craft. It’s an attempt to illuminate the complexities of human behavior and life. And this is a very fast-paced schedule; we have just 21 days to tell this story. It’s more than just saying lines and turning the light on.”
Although she made it clear she wanted true acting talent for the film, Bassett still hired a cast of newcomers rather than acting veterans.
For Bassett, the group of fresh faces will allow people to “fall into the world of Whitney and Bobby [Brown]” as opposed to getting caught up in the actors and actresses themselves.
She went on to reveal that the Lifetime biopic will not address Houston’s death in order to avoid dragging the star’s reputation through “the muck.”
“She had to play out her choices, and the consequences of them, in a very hot, glaring spotlight, but we’re not interested in dragging that through again,” she explained.
Bassett explained that Houston’s story was so “massive” and her talent was “so galvanizing” that it is impossible to capture every aspect of her stardom in one film.
“She was like no one ever known before,” she said. “She deserves to have this movie, and another movie, and everything and anything else.”