Rihanna is currently being eyed to play Josephine Baker in an upcoming biopic about the late American-French singer, actress, and dancer.
Producer W Lance Reynolds has said that the Bajan pop star was his first choice to play the “Black Venus.”
“Rihanna is one of the most talented performers of this millennium and with her unique acting and performing abilities, I have no doubt she will bring Josephine back to life on the big screen,” Reynolds said.
The 25-year-old recently made her acting debut in Battleship, a 2012 military/sci-fi film loosely inspired by the classic board game. The film received mixed to negative reviews, with Ms. Fenty receiving particularly harsh criticism. In fact, she “won” a Golden Raspberry (“Razzie”) for Worst Supporting Actress, beating out Jessica Biel (Playing for Keeps, Total Recall), Brooklyn Decker (What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Battleship), Ashley Greene (Breaking Dawn – Part 2), and Jennifer Lopez (What to Expect When You’re Expecting).
This isn’t the first time Rihanna has been eyed to play a legend on the big screen. Shortly after Whitney Houston’s sudden death in February 2012, there was speculation about who would portray “The Voice” in a biopic. Rihanna’s name was dropped, but the later singer’s mother Cissy Houston essentially put the kibosh on that idea by saying Rihanna celebrated everything Mama Houston hated about her daughter’s life. The “Diamonds” singer, however, said she would give her “entire life” to portray the icon.
“That would be something that I would have to give my entire life to do because I would want to really pull it off,” she told The Associated Press.
Josephine Baker was previously portrayed by Lynn Whitfield in HBO’s The Josephine Baker Story. The role earned Whitfield an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. She was the first black actress to win the award in that category.
Baker became a huge star in Paris cabarets in the 1920s and 1930s, and became the first black female to star in a major motion picture, 1934’s Zouzou. She was also a mother to 12 adopted children and was widely know for her involvement in the Civil Rights movement. Baker died in 1975 of a cerebral hemorrhage, surrounded by newspapers with stories praising her performance in the retrospective revue Joséphine à Bobino 1975, which celebrated her 50-year career.
Do you think Rihanna is a good choice to play Josephine Baker?