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Canadian director Stella Meghie is tackling an iconic subject for her next project.
On Tuesday, ET confirmed that Meghie will direct Whitney Houston’s upcoming biopic “Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
The film landed on Sony Pictures after an intense bidding war between the studios, and the production will be overseen by representatives of the Whitney Houston estate, including Nicole Brown, Shary Shirazi and Brittney Morrisey.
In an interview with ET Canada earlier this year, Meghie spoke about her involvement in the biopic.
“I grew up loving her, so it really is a privilege to be a part of extending her legacy,” said the director, adding: “We all want to celebrate it.”
Speaking of her favorite Houston songs, Meghie referenced the 1985 singer’s song “You Give Good Love.”
“Probably one of my favorites, one of my earliest memories of Whitney,” he said. “And I put that song on ‘The Photograph’ too.”
While it was early to talk about casting for the iconic role, Meghie said, “As a director, you’re just looking for someone who captures that essence.”
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Earlier this year, Meghie released her romantic drama “The Photograph,” starring Issa Rae as Mae Morton, the estranged daughter of a famous photographer, sparking an affair with a journalist, played by Lakeith Stanfield, investigating a story about her mother.
Meghie spoke to ET Canada about chemistry on the set between Rae and Stanfield, bringing her past in the fashion industry closer to the movies and experiencing the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think everyone is taking it day by day,” Meghie said of the shutdown. “So I’m really waiting to know when it will be safe. Until everyone wants, we can do it safely. Until then, there will be no cameras in operation. ”
He also revealed that he is still using his time to be productive, saying, “I am writing different projects. So it just switched to the writing side of things. “
Working with Rae on “The Photograph” was one of the highlights of the project for Meghie.
“I met Issa when I did an episode of season 3 [of “Insecure’], and it was the first time we met. I’ve been a fan of her and a fan of the show, “she recalled. “So getting ready to be ready to do ‘The Photograph.’ That was someone I started thinking about, and she looked at the script and was excited to do the project. And he joined very quickly with her.
Meghie added: “I mean, I think we have really good dynamics on set. It’s very easy to work with, you know, very talented, very professional. We really had a lot of fun together. She is someone I have enjoyed working with, and I also did another episode of her show. “
Another highlight of the film, even for fans of romance, was the chemistry between Rae and Stanfield.
“The chemistry between Issa and Lakeith felt very instantaneous to me,” said Meghie. “Lakeith and I flew to Louisiana when she was there, working on another movie, just to read some scenes from the script and see if we all clicked and as soon as they started talking and doing their first date scene it was very obvious to all of us it was going to work. “
One of the most important things in Meghie’s career has been the support she has received from all kinds of places, including publicly from stars like Lena Waithe and Regina King on social media.
“I’ve had a lot of support over the years, you know. the [Canadian Film Centre] and Telefilm Canada supported me with [my debut] ‘Jean de los Jones,’ ”he said. “I’m lucky, I think, in the Los Angeles community only with people who have supported, you know… and then people like Kenia Barris and Lena. They have all supported me a lot with whom I have been able to work. ”
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Before directing functions, Meghie began her career in the fashion world, and that experience was also leaked in her films.
“I love fashion. I started doing internships in Daily women’s clothing and doing public relations for Brooks Brothers. So it has always been part of my education, ”he said. “And for ‘The Photograph’, it was really important to me how Mae looked. I thought she would be very polished, you know, she comes from the art world. And her appearance was a bit expensive, but I just wanted her to feel very kind of … The whole movie is very saturated. Much of it looks very dark in New York, until we get to Louisiana, and it lights up and the color palette turns, and the yellow dress and the creamier blouses. “
Meghie also spoke about the comparisons that have been made between “The Photograph” and Theodore Witcher’s 1997 classic romance “Love Jones,” starring Nia Long and Larenz Tate.
“I am proud to be mentioned alongside him. I think both are his own movies, but ‘Love Jones’ is a movie that I have seen many times over the years, ”said Meghie. “Theodore Witcher is a fantastic director who gave us a movie that helped create the canon of romantic drama. It’s definitely in my canon of romantic dramas. “