Stanley Tucci on I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Playing Clive Davis

Dec 24, 2022

Sony’s biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, set out to depict an honest portrait of the late legendary singer’s rise to stardom. Starring Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) as the 6-time Grammy Award-winning icon, Whitney Houston, and featuring a number of her chart-topping tracks that earned her the achievement of most-awarded female artist of all time, the Kasi Lemmons-directed feature aims to highlight her life and legacy.

Setting it apart from previous attempts to chronicle Houston’s skyrocket to fame, I Wanna Dance With Somebody is based on a screenplay written by Academy Award-nominee Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody) with the aid of Houston’s estate. Sister-in-law, Patricia Houston, serves as a producer on the film, alongside Whitney Houston’s long-time friend and manager, Clive Davis, as executive producer, who is portrayed by Academy Award-nominee, Stanley Tucci. In addition to Ackie and Tucci, the cast also stars Nafessa Williams as Robyn Crawford, Tamara Tunie and Clarke Peters as Whitney’s parents, and Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown.

Before I Wanna Dance With Somebody hits theaters, Collider’s Steve Weintraub spoke with Stanley Tucci about his role in the movie. During their interview, Tucci shares how he handles filming emotional scenes and discusses the aspects of Whitney Houston’s life that his time with the script helped him understand about the artist. He also reveals the behind-the-scenes secret to staying trim while filming his series, Searching for Italy, and which of his films he’d suggest to a new fan. You can watch the interview in the player above, or read the full transcript below.

COLLIDER: I want to start with this question. If someone has actually never seen anything that you’ve done before, what is the first thing you’d like them watching and why?

STANLEY TUCCI: I think maybe Supernova, which was a movie I did with Colin Firth a few years ago. Because I think it’s a really beautiful film and I like the way Colin and I work together in it. And I just like the film.

Image via TriStar Pictures

I’ve enjoyed your Searching for Italy and watching you eat, and I’m just curious how you have not put on 40 pounds?

TUCCI: I have very fast metabolism, and I exercise a lot. And if I’m eating on camera in that show, you’ll see me eat, but I won’t eat the entire thing. I mean, that would be gross. So then you end up going out to dinner and having proper. You try to regulate your eating.

So I heard that your first day of filming on this film was, you needed to film the rehab scene, [to] tell Whitney [Houston] she was going to be going to rehab. What is it like stepping on set and the first scene you do is a really serious and important scene in the movie?

TUCCI: If you know the script well and you understand the arc of the character, it’s not so bad. If it’s a huge, huge emotional scene, it becomes a bit harder. But this was a more subtle emotional scene. But I’ve had that experience many times making movies, so you get used to it.

Donald Sutherland told me that in his contract, he makes it so he has to film something from the middle of the movie on his first day. Because he feels that in the middle of the movie, people are going to buy into whatever he’s selling, and he doesn’t want to film the beginning or the end at the beginning of the shoot.

TUCCI: That’s a very good idea. Very smart.

That’s why he is Donald Sutherland.

TUCCI: Yeah. Well, yeah.

Image via Sony Pictures

I learned a lot about Whitney that I didn’t know watching the movie. And I’m just curious, were there any things that really surprised you to learn about her life that you had no idea before the shoot?

TUCCI: Well, I didn’t know that she was bisexual. I didn’t know that. And I didn’t really understand the extent of the addiction. And I really didn’t know that relationship with Clive Davis, which I think is an amazing relationship.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody is now playing in theaters. For more on the film, check out interview with Naomi Ackie below:

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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