AceShowbiz - Naomi Ackie took six months to feel "comfortable" speaking and singing like Whitney Houston. For her role as the late iconic singer in the biopic "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody", the 30-year-old was coached by the same vocal coach Austin Butler used for "Elvis" and Rami Malek for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody".
In a video obtained by People, Naomi shared, "There was many different elements: How do I prepare myself vocally, singing-wise? The accent work took about six months to get really comfortable with it. And how do I prepare myself physically? In terms of movement, I worked with my amazing friend and my movement coach, Polly Bennett, and we kind of split it all up."
Explaining how it all works, Naomi added, "Everyone has certain cadences. Everyone has a sort of inner rhythm. And if you study it and practice it enough, the hope is that it comes out really naturally". Naomi previously revealed she was convinced Whitney was a presence on set - admitting she felt particularly close to her when she was filming the singing scenes.
Naomi told Extratv.com, "[I felt she was there] especially when she was singing. That is why some of the performances were my favourite to film – because she was literally in the room. Hopefully that shows in the film."
The "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" star was given a huge boost by all the support she received from Whitney's family after landing the part. She said, "They had like brought me on board to do it and believed in me in that kind of way was unbelievable in itself and they just continued to reinstate that."
And she went on to add how much respect she has for the singer - who died in 2012 at the age of 48 - as she had been listening to her music ever since she was a child. Naomi said, "She was just like us … when you strip away all the stardom and fame … she was a human being and she deserves compassion and love. Her legacy is undeniable."
"Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody" also features Stanley Tucci as music mogul Clive Davis and "Moonlight" star Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown.