Naomi Ackie got to sing as herself in one scene

Watch: Naomi Ackie talks to Yahoo about playing Whitney Houston

As I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the biopic of the legendary Whitney Houston prepares to hit theaters on Boxing Day, the film’s star Naomi Ackie has revealed that audiences want hear her singing voice in the film.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the singer’s distinctive voice would provide the vocals on I Wanna Dance With Somebody, but speaking to Yahoo UK, Ackie revealed that she “sings a little” after all.

“I sing the first song you hear in the movie, when she’s much younger and needed polishing,” he explained.

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“But most of it is Whitney. I only sing for dramatic beats, so I sing in one of the office scenes, when she picks a track. But I don’t do it too much. 97.9% is Whitney!”

Naomi Ackie plays Whitney Houston in I want to dance with someone. (Sony images)

The film traces the life story of one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Nicknamed The Voice, Houston was scouted at age 19, embarking on a glittering career that included seven consecutive number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as two Emmy Awards and six Grammies.

She has also had success as an actress, most notably in her debut film, The Bodyguard (1992), in which she sang one of her most enduring tunes, I Will Always Love You. The new film also examines her turbulent private life, including her relationships with her family and her husband, Bobby Brown (Ashton Sanders).

Watch a clip from I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Ackie has taken a balanced approach to playing such a musical icon, a role she realizes could be identified with her for the rest of her career. “You take your time and try to do the job as best you can and keep that kind of stuff out of your head,” she said, speaking of her preparation for it.

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“I think it was a bit of a challenge to keep it out of my head, given how big it was. I tried trimming it down to look the same as any job and approaching it the same way. I hope the work speaks for itself.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: Naomi Ackie attends the Sony Pictures UK Gala Screening of WHITNEY HOUSTON: I WANT TO DANCE WITH SOMEONE at Ham Yard Hotel London on December 19, 2022 in London, England.  In cinemas from Boxing Day.  (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Concorde Media PR)

Naomi Ackie plays Whitney in the biopic. (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Concorde Media PR)

This is the first major lead role for the Camden-born actor, whose breakthrough came in Lady Macbeth (2016), a performance that earned her a BIFA for Most Promising Newcomer.

She also won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress on TV for The End Of The F**king World and was recently seen earlier this year in the British thriller The Score, opposite Will Poulter and Johnny Flynn.

This new look at life in Houston, directed by Kasi Lemmons (Harriet) and written by Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Theory Of Everything), also stars Stanley Tucci, Nafessa Williams, Tamara Tunie and Clarke Peters.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody hits theaters on Boxing Day. Watch a trailer below.

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