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Yaya DaCosta Alafia Mimics Whitney Houston's 1987 Album Cover in First-Look Photo From Biopic

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 10, 2014 3:43 PM
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Here's your first look (above) at Yaya DaCosta Alafia as Whitney Houston in Angela Bassett's upcoming directorial debut for the Lifetime network, courtesy of EW.

Obviously, it's a mimic of the album cover of the late singer's hit 1987 studio album (her 2nd) "Whitney" (see the original on the left).

DaCosta is joined in front of the camera by Arlen Escarpeta (as Bobby Brown) and Yolonda Ross (as Whitney Houston's longtime good friend and assistant, who was also rumored to be her lesbian lover - Robyn Crawford).

The telepic will chronicle the headline-making partnership between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model, and singer, songwriter Bobby Brown - from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage.

Bassett is directing the film, which is tentatively titled "Whitney Houston," from a script penned by Shem Bitterman ("Betty & Coretta" - the Lifetime Original Movie that Bassett starred in last year). 

Larry Sanitsky (who produced "Betty & Coretta") will do the same for "Whitney Houston."

It's scheduled to debut in 2015.
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More: Yaya Alafia, Yolonda Ross, Arlen Escarpeta

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  • John Lindsay | July 11, 2014 5:32 PMReply

    I'm happy to see this project come to the screen, and equally happy to see Angela Bassett, an accomplished talent in her own right, making her first outing behind the camera as a director. It seem that when Jodie Foster and others made their debut (directing) there was no why now?? In addition, lets not forget that Bassett studied her craft at the Yale School of Drama, receiving a Masters in theatre arts. Bassett was also in a graduating class that was filled with credible peers from both the theatre, technical, writing and producers, of which, many are doing their thing "successfully" today on many of the cable programming being aired currently. Lastly, Bassett, is also nominated for a Prime time Emmy award this year as well, competing with some very notable and remarkable actors.

  • Ol Skool | July 11, 2014 7:26 PM

    John, I don't quite understand your push back. And, your comparison of Angela Bassett to Jodie Foster is a wee bit troubling.

    First, Jodie Foster started her acting career at the age of 3, received an Oscar nod at 12 and won two Oscars by the age of 28. Even as a highly bankable movie star with an acting resume most actors would kill for, did that stop her critics from questioning her abilities as a director? Absolutely not.

    At 28 she opened her directorial career with the film Little Man Tate. Budget 10 million. Box office 28 Million. Did that stop the side-eyes? Absolutely not.

    In addition, graduating from Yale does not automatically stratify one above those who traveled a different rode, nor are they above criticism.

    Btw, Jodie Foster is a Yale graduate.

  • Ol Skool | July 11, 2014 7:34 AMReply

    "Angela Bassett can overact brushing her teeth"

    Well, at least that's what an S&A writer said. Who? Hint: There's no shame in this writer's game and he could pass for most folk's great granddaddy.

    Anyway, if what he says is true, I wonder how that translates to her directing skills? Well, there's not a better place for Ms. Bassett's directorial debut than the Lifetime channel, its audience doesn't require much depth.

  • Monique A Williams | July 10, 2014 3:49 PMReply

    Happy for YaYa! Ms. Bassett did good with this casting. Yes. She did good!

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