Exclusive: Whitney Houston Movie – Suzzanne Douglas Talks Calls Movie Cautionary Tale – a Love Story
Suzzanne Douglas is an amazing actress, who plays the role of Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston’s mother, in the controversial biopic Lifetime Movie, Whitney Houston.
Have U Heard had the opportunity to speak to Suzzanne Douglas about the movie and what it was like playing the role of Whitney’s mother, Cicely. She began the interview by explaining the movie is a different look at Whitney Houston, as it is a cautionary tale. It is a look at how we go into relationships and how we make choices about what we do in those relationships. After watching the movie, Douglas hopes that is how we view the movie – as a cautionary tale.
We spoke to Suzzanne about her role and what it was like playing Cicely Houston? She spoke about the process being pretty organic and how she started with being a mother. Being the mother of a gifted child, she could easily relate to what Cicely went through. She felt for Whitney’s mother and dealing with a child who is broken and damaged, and you are losing that child, not just on the physical earth, but emotionally. Suzanne stated,
“There is only so much we can do as parents, particularly when they become adults. Now they are paying their own bills and making their own choices. There is only so much we can do, that’s torturous as a parent.”
Suzzanne spoke about a particular scene in the movie, it is right after Whitney loses her first child when she was working on The Bodyguard. The scene was going pretty well, but Angela (Basset, the director) wanted to heighten the stakes – she said two words to Suzzanne and two words to YaYa (who played Whitney), she looked at YaYa and said, “baby dead,” and for Suzzanne she said, “baby dying.” What is it like to see your child dying emotionally in front of your eyes. It became a metaphor for losing a child, not just physically, but the emotional part too.
Douglas knows she couldn’t possibly mimic this iconic individual, Cicely Houston, who was and is a superstar in her own right, long before Whitney Houston became famous.
We spoke with Suzzanne about Whitney Houston’s mother Cissy, who was not happy about the movie, and how it effected her taking the part and playing the part in the movie? She said,
“It didn’t. I cannot be concerned about what someone perceives about me, if you don’t know me. I can’t be concerned about your perception of what I am going to do if you haven’t seen it. I understand her pain as a mother and how raw that wound is. She is still grieving. This is a small tale of a larger life. I didn’t let her feelings, which are valid, because she was her mother. I didn’t allow that to get in the way of the interpretation of what was on the page. Then I am putting a value on the process based on an outside influence and then I am not authentic in the retelling of the story because now I have distanced myself on this story I am trying to share.”
Keep reading to see what Suzzanne learned about Whitney and her relationship with Bobby Brown?