July 12, 2011

Who should play Aretha Franklin in a Biopic?

I heard a few months ago, that there's been talk about a movie based on Aretha Franklin's life and music. It would be something like Dorothy Dandridge, What's Love Got To Do With It, etc. Three actresses are being considered for the once in a lifetime role of Aretha Franklin, they are: Halle Berry, Fantasia, and Jennifer Hudson. Who should be selected for such an honor? Who would portray Ms. Franklin as she should be portrayed?

Jennifer Hudson - J-Hud is an AMAZING singer. She definitely has the voice but does she really have the acting talent? Hudson only has one big movie under her belt, which she did very well in, but after watching her latest music video, she didn't have that actress flair. She seemed awkward and she had an annoying attitude through out the entire video. I know this is only one example, but for an Oscar winner, I expected more.

Halle Berry - First of all, I love Halle Berry. She's such a great, amazing, and talented actress, any producer would be crazy to turn her away. But, unlike J-Hud, Berry can't sing. I personally think the best Biopic movies were with leading actresses/actors who could not sing. For example, What's Love Got to Do With It. Angela Bassett could not sing but her performance was untouchable and flawless. I think it makes it more real, and interesting. Hearing someone else sing the songs takes away from it. Although Why Do Fools Fall In Love was not a Biopic, it did highlight the life of a real singer. Larenz Tate, a non-singer, played Frankie Lymon, who was a singer in the '50s and '60s and did an amazing job...So maybe not being able sing isn't such a big disadvantage.

Fantasia - Fantasia is a really soulful singer, which would coincide with Aretha being called "The Queen of Soul". I think her singing style is somewhat similar to Aretha Franklin's, but Fantasia cannot act. I do think that Fantasia has a 'down home' kind of image. I think if she were a much better actress she could possibly pull it off. She did a show on Broadway a couple years back and maybe she's improved since her biographical Lifetime movie Life is Not a Fairytale. I think Fantasia would play a good young Aretha Franklin (teens, early twenties), but not an older, complex Aretha.

With all this being said, who do I think should play Aretha Franklin in a Biopic? Well...I'd have to say Halle Berry! She's an amazing actress and in my opinion the J-Hud and Fantasia wouldn't be as great. I really wouldn't mind seeing any of them play the role, but I'd prefer to see it go to Halle!



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