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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Bassett wanted Houstons' blessing

Angela Bassett has made her directorial debut with the TV biopic Whitney
Angela Bassett has made her directorial debut with the TV biopic Whitney

Angela Bassett has admitted she wanted the blessing of Whitney Houston's family for the biopic she has made about the late singing star.

The American Horror story actress has made her directorial debut with the movie, titled Whitney, which charts the relationship between Whitney and RnB star Bobby Brown.

Whitney was found dead, aged 48, in a hotel bathtub in 2012, the night before she was due to perform at the Grammy awards.

The film aired on Lifetime in the US on Saturday January 19 with 4.5 million viewers tuning in - the highest ratings the channel had drawn in a year.

But before the movie aired, Whitney's sister-in-law Pat Houston, president of the Whitney Houston estate, posted a lengthy statement slamming Angela's film on the late star's official website.

In an interview given before the film aired, Angela said: "I'm a mother and a daughter. I always approach it with a lot respect and integrity and research and dignity. Because I'm an actress and the way I think of it is this is our entertainment but this is their life. You can not muck around with someone's life.

"I have a heart and respect for Miss Cissy [Houston, Whitney's mother]. I've knelt at her knee, I love her, I love the family, I appreciate her as a mother, Whitney as a daughter, Bobby as a husband and father. This is their lives, and as much as her not being here hurts us, it's insignificant to what I imagine they feel."

The 56-year-old actress revealed she intended to show the family the film before it was aired publicly, but had been warned they might react negatively: "I guess you could see it earlier then get on social media and make comment, and that's a consideration of some, but it's not my consideration.

"Mine is that of respect. I would like them to have the opportunity to see it, assess it, process it before it airs."

Angela said she had taken on the duty of directing the film because she felt so passionately about Whitney's story.

She said: "I felt if I did not accept the assignment that I would regret it and that no one else could tell it the way I would tell it. There could be better filmmakers, but no one was going to be as passionate as I would be in the telling of the story. I just thought I would get it."

Asked if she will consider directing again, she said: " If I can find something I feel half this passionate about, it's a possibility.

"Let's see how this is received . I think I would though, this was a great experience. I don't know if they'll all go this well, somehow I doubt it."

Whitney is due to air on Lifetime in the UK on February 12, 2015.

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