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Naomi Ackie Transforms into Whitney Houston for Upcoming Biopic ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’

Grab a partner and head to the dance floor: Naomi Ackie truly embodies the late singer Whitney Houston in the official trailer for the upcoming biopic, I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

On Thursday, Sony Pictures Entertainment released the first look teaser for the new biopic. Directed by Harriet director Kasi Lemmons, the highly anticipated film follows the life and career of the legendary singer

Longtime fans get to see small snippets of the musician’s entire life in the trailer—starting from her humble beginnings as a young choir girl to singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl XXV in 1991. 

I Wanna Dance with Somebody features a talented ensemble cast, including Ackie, Ashton Sanders (Moonlight), Nafessa Williams (Black Lightning), Clarke Peters (The Wire), Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) and many more.

Naomi Ackie attending the 2020 EE British Academy Film Awards.
Karwai Tang/WireImage

In an exclusive interview with People, the Star Wars star revealed how “nervous” she was to take on the role of the “incredible, multifaceted” Houston. “[Whitney’s] been elevated in my life for so long that it felt like an impossible thing to achieve at times,” she told the outlet. 

She added, “But so many people told me the same thing: If I wasn’t scared and nervous, they'd think something was wrong with me….The biggest challenge was letting my fear of the magnitude of this task take a back seat. Nothing good comes from sitting in fear for too long.”

Whitney Houston performing at the 2004 World Music Awards.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Ackie went on to say audiences will see a side of the singer like never before. “Fans can expect to see her life like we see our own. Ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments, all of it mixing together to make up a life,” the actress said.

Mark your calendars: I Wanna Dance With Somebody will premiere exclusively in theaters on December 21, 2022.

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