TV and Movies·Updated on Nov 18, 2023Side-By-Side Photos Of The "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody" Cast And The Real People They PlayThe Sony Pictures biopic details Whitney Houston's life and career journey.by Devin HerendaBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Dec. 23 will mark one year since the theatrical release of Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody, a biopic from Sony Pictures exploring the personal and professional life story of iconic performer Whitney Houston. Compelling Pictures / Via youtube.com The film was penned by Anthony McCarten, directed by Kasi Lemmons, and features actor Naomi Ackie as the powerhouse entertainer. Powered By Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody was approved by Whitney's estate, and one of her longtime mentors, Clive Davis, as well as her sister-in-law and manager Pat Houston both served as producers for the biopic. Graham Wiltshire / Getty Images Here are side-by-sides of the actors of the film next to the real-life people they portray. 1. Naomi Ackie as Whitney Houston. Compelling Pictures, HBO, Arista Records / Via youtube.com youtube.com Naomi is known for her roles in Lady Macbeth, The End of the F***ing World, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Small Axe, Master of None, and Cupid. Naomi herself has a great singing voice, but only sang in certain parts of the movie. An audio track of Whitney's voice was used for all of the big singing scenes.Whitney is, of course, Whitney Houston, the superstar actor and vocalist who was nicknamed "The Voice" by Clive Davis. Whitney was a New Jersey native who rose to fame in the mid-1980s with the release of her self-titled debut album. She would continue to dominate the music industry as she dropped more highly successful music collections over the years. Her fame grew even further with her onscreen performance and music from the 1992 film The Bodyguard, which still has the bestselling movie soundtrack ever, per Smooth Radio.In her personal life, Whitney married singer-songwriter Bobby Brown in 1992. The two went on to have one daughter together, Bobbi Kristina Brown, before separating in 2006 and officially ending their tumultuous marriage in 2007. Whitney, who had a drug addiction for years while in the public eye, sadly died in 2012 at the age of 48. The Los Angeles County coroner's office determined her cause of death to be an accidental drowning, with cocaine use and heart disease also being contributing factors, per the Washington Post. 2. Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis. Compelling Pictures, Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images / Via youtube.com You know Stanley from his performances in blockbusters likeThe Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia, The Lovely Bones, and Spotlight.He plays legendary music executive Clive Davis, who signed Whitney to his record label Arista Records in the early '80s. Clive and Whitney would remain close colleagues over the years as he continued to guide the singer in her career. 3. Tamara Tunie as Cissy Houston. Compelling Pictures, Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images / Via youtube.com Tamara can be recognized for her appearances in As the World Turns, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Flight, The Red Road, Blue Bloods, and Almost Family.She portrays Cissy, Whitney's mother. Cissy is an accomplished singer herself who previously did backup vocals for artists like Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin. In Whitney's early years onstage, Cissy helped coach her on how to perform. 4. Nafessa Williams as Robyn Crawford. Compelling Pictures, L. Busacca / Getty Images / Via youtube.com Nafessa has been in past projects like One Life to Live, Code Black, Twin Peaks, Black and Blue, and Black Lightning.She plays Robyn, a longtime good friend of Whitney's. In recent years, Robyn has stated that their relationship was intimate for a time but this ended when Whitney signed with Arista Records. They stayed close while Robyn worked as Whitney's assistant for years. However, two decades after the pair first encountered each other as teens, Robyn exited this role. She and Whitney then lost contact with one another. 5. Clarke Peters as John Houston. Compelling Pictures, L. Busacca / WireImage / Getty Images / Via youtube.com Leading up to Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Clarke has acted in movies and TV shows such as The Wire, Damages, Person of Interest, John Wick, Chance, Da 5 Bloods, and The Man Who Fell to Earth.He plays John, Whitney's father. John was a talent manager who sometimes contributed to certain areas of Whitney's professional life, such as business negotiations. His company later sued Whitney for $100 million, alleging she owed it money for legal and business services it had fulfilled. John died in 2003 at the age of 82. 6. Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown. Compelling Pictures, Ron Davis / Getty Images / Via youtube.com Ashton played Chiron in the 2016 Oscar-winning drama film Moonlight. He's since acted in The Equalizer 2, Native Son, Captive State, and Wu-Tang: An American Saga, among other projects.In Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Ashton portrays Bobby Brown. Bobby and Whitney met at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1989, after which they began their roller-coaster romance. They were together as husband and wife for 14 years prior to separating in 2006. 7. Bria Danielle Singleton as Bobbi Kristina Brown. Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images, Shareif Ziyadat / FilmMagic Bria's acting credits include parts in Better Things, Fresh Off the Boat, The Loud House, and Thunder Force.She plays Bobbi Kristina, Whitney's daughter whom the performer shared with Bobby Brown. Bobbi Kristina was seen on Being Bobby Brown, her family's mid-2000s reality show, and later The Houstons: On Our Own. She had planned to carry out a singing career after Whitney's death. Bobbi Kristina had also begun a relationship with Nick Gordon, a family friend who had been taken in by the Houstons at the age of 12. It was made public that they were engaged in March 2012. Tragically, Bobbi Kristina died in 2015 at the age of 22. This occurred after news outlets had reported that Nick and a friend had found her unconscious in her bathtub and she subsequently endured a months-long coma. Nick was later found legally responsible for Bobbi Kristina's death. He died in 2020.