Exclusive

Yaya DaCosta to Play Whitney Houston in Lifetime Biopic

Yaya DaCosta Whitney Houston

Yaya DaCosta has landed the greatest role of all, playing Whitney Houston in Lifetime’s upcoming biopic of the late star, TVLine has learned exclusively.

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The TV-movie will chronicle Houston’s volatile relationship with singer-songwriter Bobby Brown during her meteoric rise to musical superstardom.

Since making her television debut in Cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model, DaCosta has gone on to score recurring roles on shows including All My ChildrenUgly Betty and House. She’s also had big-screen success, most recently coming off a role in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

Angela Bassett (American Horror Story) will direct the yet-untitled biopic, which is aiming for a 2015 release.

Thoughts on DaCosta’s casting? Suggestions for actors to play the key people in Houston’s life? Drop us a comment and let us know.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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50 Comments
  1. CK says:

    I’m intrigued, but as someone who has seen too many lifetime movies (thanks mom), I’m bracing for disappointment. Also, why not just make a Whitney movie w/ Angela Bassett playing her?

    • Sara says:

      Angela Bassett is too old to portray Whitney for the time period the movie is focusing on, which should be around her mid-20’s to her early 30s since it seems focusing on her relationship with Bobby Brown during the 90s.

    • SallyinChicago says:

      I’m disappointed that 1) Angela is directing this movie about her “friend”, this need not be 2) that it’s about Whitney & Bobby’s “relationship”. Who the F*k wants to see two people fighting and getting high for 2hrs?

      • Anne says:

        I don’t mind that Angela is directing it, as long as she does a good job. I just hope that they don’t start the movie with Whitney meeting Bobby. In my opinion they need to go further back and tell the story of how Whitney’s career started. If the movie picks up with her career already established it will have an incomplete, premature feeling to it. I hate when movies jump or skip relevant time periods. Whitney’s rise to stardom with her first album (well before she met Bobby) is definitely relevant and it would be ashamed to leave that out.

        • Matty says:

          I agree with you 100%. Really this needs to be a complete bio-pic of Whitney’s life from the time she started her career until her death.

      • Shirley says:

        Agree! Can you say,” Train wreck”?!!

    • E.F. Coleman says:

      This young lady looks like a better fit to play the singer.

  2. chitaev says:

    I think she’ll be perfect. She looks a lot like her & I’ve seen her in House & I thought she was wonderful. Plus she was one of my favorites on her cycle of America’s Next Top Model

  3. tian kristian says:

    I am very happy to see your appearance.

  4. Derek Luke should play Bobby Brown

  5. Swift says:

    Was excited until I read Lifetime.

  6. DJ says:

    Love It!
    Love Yaya!!

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  8. what people will do for money!!Angela can’t be such a good “friend” if she wants to show 2 people fighting and doing drugs. I for one will not watch it !!

  9. ladyluck527 says:

    Good casting! She is a good actress!

  10. TrickyGreyArea says:

    A week ago I would have been meh on this casting, but I just saw her in “Honeydripper” and she was great. She’s actually the first person that came to mind when I saw the “Who will play Whitney?” headline at the top of the main page. She’s certainly come a long way from ANTM and AMC!

  11. John lewis says:

    Yaya is a good actress but I don’t think she’s the best fit for the role. .I would’ve loved to see either Michelle Williams of Destiny’s child play her, or even Jennifer hudson. Just don’t think Yaya will give us that element. .

    • Sunshine says:

      Michelle Williams and J. Hud are too old for the part. It says it will focus on her rise to fame (which was in the 90s when she was in her 20s). Can Michelle even act?

      • lala says:

        Whitney’s career started in the 80’s thats when she was in her early 20s the picture above with Yayas of Whitney is from 1987 from I wanna dance with somebody. In the 90s around the bodyguard film in 1992 she was 29 years old .
        Yaya’s a great actress lm glad shes doing well but lifetime films generally suck l hope this is an exception.
        J Hud and Michelle are too old plus don’t even look like Whitney at all to be honest thats not to say they are not talented.

  12. Focusing only on Whitney Houston’s relationship with Bobby Brown is nothing but a cheap tabloid direction and in no way celebrates nor honor Houston’s life and true history and character. The choice of the annoying YaYa, whose appearance on Next Top Model and subsequent role on “All My Children” left a lot to be desired, and a bad taste in my mouth. This while project seems rushed and possibly quite exploitive, and the family of Whitney Houston, as well as her fans, have a right to be leery of this whole thing.

  13. Leila J says:

    I have never heard of this actress before and I think that is a good thing since I will be able to view her with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective. I hope she does well and knocks it out of the park. I admit I was hoping Tika Sumpter would have played Whitney Houston. When she was on Arsenio Hall’s late night show, she did such a stunning voice imitation of Whitney that just blew me away. She sounded so much like Whitney. Of course that was just her speaking voice. I have no idea whether or she can sing like Whitney. Well, shoot, nobody can sing like Whitney. She is in a class of her own. I listen to ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’ and still to this day end up in tears. Anyway, congratulations and best wishes to Yaya DaCosta! Now, who should play Bobby Brown? Hmmm….. I can’t wait to see who gets cast to play that role! :)

  14. LaNita Bryant says:

    Please email me if you haven’t already casted anyone to play her daughter. I’m African American, 5’1″ and I weigh about 120 lbs! I’m excited!!

  15. Reblogged this on spankinstephiee and commented:
    Yaya is a strong, up & coming actress who I think will be able to capture Whitney’s endearing persona that came with her pop star status but also her New Jersey street sense that still made her a little rough around the edges. As a huge Whitney fan, I do approve of this choice. My only hope with the whole movie is that it doesn’t get bogged down with “Lifetime-style” of storytelling. The kind of storytelling that doesn’t take the time to develop a full plot or too much of a depressing or happy ending, it always goes either way. However since Angela Bassett is directing, I trust her friendship will strong hand any thing that could come off as making fun or sensationalizing the story she is portraying of Whitney’s life. I’m anticipating this movie.

    • NoChance says:

      Since it’s being produced and will be on Lifetime, it will be a “Lifetime”style movie. Bland and predictable. I’m sorry for the talented cast and director that it will be reduced to this but reduced it will be.

  16. Cat says:

    I hope this movie is more than just about Whitney and Bobby. Need to focus on other accomplish Whitney did then just that messed up marriage and drugged down relationship.

  17. T says:

    I’m only disappointed I’m not playing that role!!! Real bummer!!!

  18. Anthony. says:

    What roll did she play in the Buttler? Cause I don’t remember her?

    • Christian says:

      You’ve must fallen asleep through a huge chunk of it because she played a pretty significant part.

  19. Not a good choice. She looks nothing like Whitney. Whitney was a beautiful woman.

  20. Betty Redmond says:

    Hoping for a speedy recovery, you are in my prayers, Prayers and God works, I am a living witness

  21. Eva says:

    All I can say is.. RESPEITO

  22. Matty says:

    I’m kind of worried about this one. Namely, I hope they get the music right. If they don’t dub Whitney’s voice in and get the rights to use Whitney’s music then this project is hopeless. I’m also not entirely sure if YaYa has the acting chops to pull off this role. I wonder if she has the grit, the edge needed to play Whitney. Also it’s going to depend on who they get to play Bobby Brown.

  23. kay says:

    Perfect choice and awesome director !!! Black Women Rock !

  24. Eric stillings actor says:

    Mrs. Bassett attended Yale University Drama school, as well as co-starred in several movies together with our diva Mrs. Whitney Houston. Let us celebrate Mrs. Bassett directing debut ; a diva would only respectfully represent another diva with class. Mrs. Bassett she could do anything we will see. from her Tampa bay Area Brother, Eric Erte’ Stillings, (mouseketeer 1985) Go For It Angela. you go girl!

  25. Jenn says:

    I think Vivica Fox would be a good idea to play the mature Whitney Houston and Monica could play the younger version of Whitney Houston

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  27. Jasiani says:

    She is beautiful, however anyone playing Whitney needs to really bring and the only women I know and admire is Angela Bassett, Kimberly Elise and Halley Berry. No offense to the chosen one but I loved Whitney and I just want to suggest her being represented correctly.This project is simply an honor! Thank you Mrs. Bassett.

  28. marble says:

    Can play Bobby Brown
    Idris Elba
    Lance Gross
    Jamie Fox
    Tyrese Gibbs
    Gregory Sanson

    Aretha Franklin:

    Dionne Warwick-

    Sissy Houston

  29. toya says:

    This is Whitney Houston we are talking about. This movie is not Lifetime material. This should be big screen. That was a bad bad I mean bad idea!

  30. Rose Vera says:

    have you seen Lilly McCloud from American Got Talent she can sing

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