Rising star Bria Danielle Singleton is on her way. She stars in the new biopic about the life of the late Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
While the young actress has done some voice-over work, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, in many regards, is her breakthrough role. Even with her blossoming career, education remains a top priority for Singleton and her family.
During opening week last month, the I Wanna Dance with Somebody star juggled exams and interviews but found a few minutes to speak with NewsOne.
Speaking with NewsOne shortly before the Christmas holiday break, Singleton shared her inspiration for the role and just her sheer joy at being a part of this story. Not many people get to say they starred in a film about their idol. Like many people, Singleton grew up with Whitney Houston’s music and movies.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
NO: So you are a working actor and full-time student. And you’re also starring in I Wanna Dance with Somebody, arguably one of the biggest movies of the holiday season. How do you feel?
Singleton: I’ve been waiting for this for so long. I’m just like, it’s finally here. I felt like it was taking a long, long time to be here. But now that it’s here I’m just I’m so excited.
NO: Have you always been a fan of Whitney Houston?
Singleton: Always. I just like grew up with Whitney. I grew up with just like her music and her whole story. My whole family were huge fans. And when they got the news that I was going to be in this, they were so proud of me.
NO: Turning to your role as the late Bobbi Kristina in I Wanna Dance With Somebody. What was your inspiration for playing this role?
Singleton: I felt like my motivation was just so much of knowing both of their stories that I just really wanted to do it justice. Bobbi Kristina and Whitney were such important people to everybody. It wasn’t just a character that I was making. She was a person that people had relationships and people or friends who looked up to them. And I felt like I really just wanted to do them justice.
NO: How was it working with the cast directors and just really being able to step into this type of role?
Singleton: The whole cast and crew, it was just like one of the most positive like supportive people I people I’ve worked with, like, even like everyone was just so nice to me. Naomi, like, the first time I met her, she was just so ready to sit down with me and like talk and work out together on stuff. And that made me feel so much more confident.
Because, again, I was so happy to do the role. But it’s the biggest thing I’ve done. I was nervous because I was just like, oh, I want to do this good. Or, like, I want it to be good. And I want everyone to be proud of my performance. And I felt like the first day I was on set, Naomi was already just being herself and being such a bright light.
NO: While this is the biggest project you’ve worked on, you’ve worked on several projects before now. How do you feel developmentally about your trajectory as an actor and the types of projects you want to take on in the future?
Singleton: I feel like this is about to help me achieve my goals. But I really want to do more dramas and serious roles. I feel like that’s more of my skill set or like where I’m strongest. I would also love to do something with A24 Productions.