Tons of controversy has been swirling around the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, but actress Angela Bassett, who is directing the made-for-TV film, says the controversy can be a good thing.
From disputes over who will be playing Houston in the biopic to whether or not the soulful powerhouse songstress’s life should even be depicted in a Lifetime film, controversy has been following Bassett’s directing debut.
While there has been speculation about how the film will do in the ratings, Bassett thinks all the controversy will boost the number of viewers.
“Controversy can be good,” Bassett told Billboard on the red carpet of last week’s 2014 Emmys during NBC‘s pre-show. “It can pique your interest.”
Bassett added that production on the film has been going smoothly, although she did have to take time to adjust to her new role as director.
“It felt like it was flowing from the beginning,” Bassett said. “Except me with the learning curve, you know. Coming from one side of the camera to the other.”
Despite Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, insisting that her mother would want her to play the lead role in the film, the part of Houston will be played by actress and former America’s Next Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta.
The singer’s daughter unleashed an online rant aimed at Bassett after she was passed up for the role, but later seemed to apologize for the harsh words she posted online.
Meanwhile, Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, bashed the film for not having anyone from the Houston family involved in the production.
“No one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with (ex-husband) Bobby (Brown) … I find it difficult to believe people who knew and supposedly loved her would participate in a movie about her done by folks who didn’t know her,” Cissy said earlier this year.
The film, titled I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, is still on schedule to air sometime in 2015.