Golden Globe Award winner and Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett makes her directorial debut with the Lifetime Original Movie “Whitney,” featuring Yaya DaCosta (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) in the lead role with Arlen Escarpeta (Final Destination 5) alongside her as Bobby Brown. The much-anticipated world premiere will be on Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. (est).
When the project was announced by the network, Bassett shared her excitement. “I have such regard for both Whitney’s and Bobby’s amazing talents and accomplishments; and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story,” said Bassett. “Their humanity and bond fascinates us all. I’m beyond excited to have this opportunity to go behind the camera and into their world.”
Bassett recently received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries for her work as Marie Laveau in the hit FX series “American Horror Story: Coven.” She returns this season to film the carnival themed “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”
This October, Bassett was seen in Gregg Araki’s “Whitebird in a Blizzard” opposite Shailene Woodley. She also recently completed work in London on the upcoming film “Survivor” opposite Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson and Milla Jovovich for director James McTeigue and will reprise her “Olympus Has Fallen” role in the upcoming sequel “London Has Fallen.”
She has received numerous accolades and awards for her riveting performances on stage, screen and television including more than 11 NAACP Image Awards and several Screen Actors Guild nominations.
Beginning her career on stage and continuing there to this day, Bassett has performed both on and off Broadway in productions has voice to various characters in the all-time best-selling audiobook, “The Bible Experience,” co-wrote a book about their real-life love story with her husband, actor Courtney B. Vance and since has formed a production company with him, Bassett Vance Productions. Their first venture, “Book of the Year,” will continue Bassett’s foray into directing.
“Whitney” chronicles the headline-making relationship between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model and singer and songwriter Bobby Brown from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity to their courtship and tumultuous marriage. Throughout it all, difficulties followed the superstar couple while they dealt with the overwhelming rewards and consequences of the fame and fortune created by Houston’s meteoric rise that would soon overshadow them both.
Houston’s vocal performances in the film are sung by Grammy-nominated and multiplatinum-selling entertainer 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.”
Produced by The Sanitsky Company, “Whitney” is executive produced by Larry Sanitsky (Betty & Coretta). Shem Bitterman (Betty & Coretta) wrote the script.
Following the movie’s premiere, Lifetime will air the hour-long documentary “Beyond the Headlines: Whitney Houston” at 10 p.m., providing an in-depth look at the life and death of Houston. Interviews with friends – including longtime friend Darlene Love – colleagues and industry insiders will offer personal reflections and insight into the life and career of this American songstress and the tragic circumstances of her downfall. “Beyond the Headlines: Whitney Houston” is produced by Peacock Productions.