Who Is Naomi Ackie? Get to Know the ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ Star


Was there a scene you were nervous to take on?

The scenes where Whitney is going through a hard time and reaches rock bottom were really challenging. I found myself avoiding them slightly because for one, they’re very hard to prepare for, and you also just don’t want to think that someone you loved so much and for so long had to endure that kind of pain. Those were really hard scenes to do. 

How did you separate yourself from Whitney at the end of the day?

I was taught by my dad that when you’ve got a lot of pent-up energy or anxiety, you have to shake it off. Whenever I’m on the phone to my dad, he’s just like, “Shake.” So I’ll move and dance and sing. Luckily, Polly Bennett was there the whole time and we had a favorite local pub that we’d visit to decompress. We even had a code word for it. 

Did you have a favorite costume from the film?

There were so many good ones! I really think my favorite was the leather dress from the “It’s Not Right, but it’s Okay” music video. That’s the first music video I remember watching when I was younger, and that look was so iconic to me. 

Do you feel that you and Whitney have any similarities? 

I feel the most similar to her in that she was driven to share a part of herself with people, and I feel the same. There are complications with this job, and it’s public facing, which adds a different shade to the experience. Ultimately, I just want to act. I want to share stories and create stuff, and I think that’s where Whitney and I have a lot in common. 

What did you buy with your very first big paycheck?

My first job was a theater job, and I bought a biker jacket with my first paycheck. It was from TopShop and made out of recycled leather. It’s brown and has rips in it—it’s really shabby chic and cool. I still have it to this day.

Off set, did you listen to a lot of Whitney Houston, or was it the kind of thing where you wanted to hear anything but Whitney?

Yeah, that’s the thing. Your attitude to the music changes. Before, it was about enjoyment, but then it became about studying. When I was listening to her music while filming, it was very much about studying things I might have missed or trying to find something deeper in the music. Luckily, now that it’s been a year since we filmed, I can go back to just enjoying the music again!

When you’re not acting, how do you like to spend your time?

Quietly. I’m big into Pilates, taking walks, buying nice food, and vintage shopping. If I’m not working, I sleep in. I love my bed and take a lot of pride in creating the right bed environment, just in case I need to be there for a few days. That means lots of pillows, and I just bought a weighted blanket, which is doing wonders for me. I get flares of anxiety and it’s really helped me feel secure and grounded. Right now, I’m looking for the right bedding and one of those really good mattress toppers and feather duvets from a hotel. I know it’s super aspirational. Can you tell I’m so passionate about this? [Laughs]

#Naomi #Ackie #Wanna #Dance #Star

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