WCU Grad’s Role in New Whitney Houston Biopic Tells Untold Side of Her Story

nafessa williams
Image via Sony Pictures.
Nafessa Williams plays Robyn Crawford in new Whitney biopic coming to theaters Dec. 23.

West Chester University alumna Nafessa Williams hits the big screen today, in the Sony Pictures’ production, I Wanna Dance with Somebody. This biopic of pop princess Whitney Houston’s life and journey to stardom takes a different approach than previous recounts, writes Elizabeth Wellington for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Williams stars as Robyn Crawford, who was Houston’s best friend and possible lover. The romantic affair was a part of the late singer’s story that’s been glossed over, and Williams is breathing new life into it. 

“We get to know Whitney and fully see who she is,” said Williams.

Williams will star alongside seasoned British actress Naomi Ackie as Whitney. She’s known for her roles in Star Wars Episode IX, Lady Macbeth, and Master of None.  

This isn’t the first time Williams has starred in a Whitney Houston film. She also played a woman who had a child with Bobby Brown in Lifetime’s 2015 movie Whitney. Her role as the first lesbian superhero “Thunder” in the series Black Lightning is a major win for LGBTQ representation. With this experience, it’s a no-brainer that Williams would star as Robyn.  

I Wanna Dance with Somebody is ultimately, in my eyes, a love story between Robyn and Whitney. This isn’t the Whitney movie you think you’re coming to see. This is another side of Whitney that we heard whispers about and now it’s going to be revealed. It was a dream to give Robyn a voice,” she said.

Read more about Nafessa William’s groundbreaking role in The Philadelphia Inquirer.  

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