Aretha Franklin wants Halle Berry to play her in a bio-pic


Aretha Franklin announced a few days ago that she wanted Halle Berry to play her in a newly announced bio-pic that will be made about Aretha’s life, from her childhood to her fame and success in the 1960s, and what will probably be her continuing success from the 1970s until present day. I don’t know, though, they could just end it in the 1970s, Aretha’s pinnacle. Now… I’m not saying there is NO resemblance between Halle and Aretha. There is. But it’s awfully convenient that Aretha wants the gorgeous Oscar-winning Halle to play her, right? When, honestly, there’s another beautiful Oscar-winner who would do gangbusters in the role too – Jennifer Hudson. Right?

Aretha Franklin wants Halle Berry to show her some R-E-S-P-E-C-T and sign on to portray a younger version of the Queen of Soul in an upcoming biopic. The 68-year-old singing legend sent out a press release this week revealing her choices for Hollywood stars to play top roles in a planned film about her life and career.

Besides Berry, Franklin says she wants another Academy Award winner – Denzel Washington – to play her father, the late C.L. Franklin, a prominent Baptist minister and civil rights leader in Detroit. Her wish list also includes Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard as Motown star Smokey Robinson.

The movie, for which Franklin says she’ll be reviewing the script next week, will be based on her autobiography, “Aretha: From These Roots,” a best-seller a decade ago.

Messages seeking comment were left by The Associated Press on Friday for representatives of Berry, Washington and Howard.

In her release, Franklin says the actors in question are “enthusiastic about the project and have agreed to take on these roles, subject to further negotiation.”

The statement says Washington, for one, “was very interested in the role,” and Franklin “also had a very positive response from her in-person conversations with Terrence Howard and others.”

Franklin is one of the most honored musicians in American history, having won numerous Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award; the National Medal of Arts; the Presidential Medal of Freedom and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

[From The Huffington Post]

Denzel is a fine choice, and Terrence Howard… well, I think that man is strange, unprofessional douche, but whatever. Wonderful actor, but he seems like he sucks as a person. Halle would be fine in the role, but you’ve got to think that J.Hud is being seriously considered, right? But what do I know? In my life story, they would cast Mindy Kaling. No disrespect to Mindy at all (I do love her), but in our own minds, aren’t we always played by someone like Angelina or Charlize? Why not?


Sept. 10, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - Actress HALLE BERRY attends Fashion's Night Out celebrations at the Ralph Lauren Store at the Mansion on the Upper East Side. © Red Carpet Pictures


Jennifer Hudson on the Majestic Barriere's Beach during the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France on May 16, 2010. Photo by Nicolas Genin/ABACAPRESS.COM Photo via Newscom

Aretha Franklin PR photos from the 1960s, plus one from the 2000s. Credit: WENN.

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40 Responses to “Aretha Franklin wants Halle Berry to play her in a bio-pic”

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  1. Dhavy says:

    You’re definitely right on target. I don’t know why she’s blinded with beauty instead of talent. Hudson will be a better choice, she’s beautiful and talented

  2. tango says:

    I agree Jennifer Hudson is a better choice. Not only is her physical body type more in line with even a young Aretha, Jennifer can actually sing. I don’t know if she can sound enough like Aretha that they’d have her sing the songs herself but it’s a nice option instead of having to dub every song.

    And while I like Denzel, it seems he’s the go to guy when a black guy is needed. I think he’s too pretty. My preferences based on what the real Rev. Franklin looked like would be Clark Peters or David Oyelowo if they could sufficiently age him enough.

  3. geenie says:

    I know Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar and all but let’s face it, her acting sucks. Her acting was HORRIBLE in Sex and the City. I hope she’s been taking acting classes.

  4. norma says:

    This is what I will say Its Aretha Franklin story, and She has the right to pick whom ever. Although Jennifer Hudson is, and will be the best and better fit. The only one to match Franklin vocals and voice. Aretha have always been very controversy. She need to at least pick a singer with singing talent. True to be told Aretha looks nothing like Halle.

  5. malachais says:

    Seems a bit weird for celebrity to be choosing which actor/singer will play them in a movie, most celebrities are dead by the time a biopic is in the works.

  6. Bee says:

    Terrence Howard is crazy as hell. He gave some weird interview about how he asks the women he’s dating to use baby wipes after going to the bathroom. And if a woman doesn’t abide by his request to use baby wipes he condsiders them “unclean.” Freaky. I think JHud would be an excellent choice. Or, don’t kill me, Beyonce. She did a shockingly good job playing Etta James in Cadillac Records. I spent the entire movie watching her amazed that “Sasha Fierce” actually didn’t suck in a film.

  7. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    I agree, Jennifer would make perfect sense in the role.

  8. truthSF says:

    NO F-CKING WAY!!! STOP drinking the KOOL AID Aretha.

    p.s. the best person to play Aretha is Kelly Price. She resembles her the most and she can saang her ass off.

  9. mslewis says:

    Maybe Jennifer Hudson doesn’t want to do anymore biopics of singers. Also, she is not overweight anymore so Hudson would not be a better pick if you’re going by the way she looked in “Dreamgirls.” She doesn’t look like that anymore.

    Aretha, throughout her life has gone up and down in her weight so any actress would have a big problem playing Aretha over a several year period.

    As for Denzel . . . of course he could play Aretha’s father. In fact, he looks a bit like her father. Denzel is close to 60 years old now and he is no longer such a sex symbol. (Did any of you see him in “Book of Eli”? He was not pretty in that.)

    Anyway, I would be surprised if this movie even got off the ground. Who really cares about the life of Aretha Franklin? She didn’t grow up dirt poor or unprivileged; she didn’t have a hard time making it in music; as far as I know, she wasn’t a hard core druggie. What about her life would be interesting to the general public? Maybe, if her life was woven into a movie about R&B music overall, but an entire picture about her would be totally uninteresting. She is not Ray Charles.

  10. Sans says:

    Aretha is annoying with her weight problems. You have to work to be that big. Too rich to be that big. Now Jennifer is skinny… looks Nothing like Aretha. Anyway they need an unknown. Aretha and Halle look nothing alike. Was Aretha ever Halle’s size. Aretha sounds ridiculous. Halle Berry… get over yourself Aretha.

  11. jzhz says:

    Talk about delusional…I think Jennifer Hudson is gorgeous AND would be a closer fit to play the younger version of Aretha. But even at her heaviest, JHud came nowhere near the size of Aretha. Most importantly, JHud can sing. Neither she nor Halle Berry can act, though…

  12. Andrew says:

    The best person to play younger version of Aretha is Fantasia. Both have parents for ministers, both grew up singing gospel and both branched out to sing Soul/R&B. Older Aretha….J. Hud.

  13. rundee says:

    Halle Berry has just as much “blackness” as a white audience can accept, she could still go for “whitish-latina-something”.
    So moneywise she´s a save choice, if you cannot change to a real white woman, because the role needs a black one like in this case.
    So if I was Aretha and they would ask me if Halle should play me, I´d be really offended.

    And I agree that the movie will be boring. She just a singer, most songs were from others. And she´s just 65, but didn´t have a hit since the 70s. At least not that I can remember. So who cares about her life? Especially if it´s not a symbol or lesson about black-girl-pain, because it´s played by Halle.

  14. crtb says:

    Has Aretha looked in a mirror? She and Halle look nothing alike. They don’t have the same body type nor do they share the same skin shade. Aretha must think all black people look alike cause there is no way Halle Berry could play her. lol

  15. Girafe99 says:

    Aretha Franklin was beautiful when she was young, I love the way her eyes look!

    I find biopics invariably boring, as you already know so much about the person. I want some original drama from the film industry!

  16. StopKiddingYourself says:


    Jennifer Hudson KILLED it in DreamGirls. She won an Oscar in her FIRST movie, for Pete’s Sake. WTH are rambling on about? Was that not as good or “safe and comfortably black enough” for you? Because it was for the majority of us, and the committee that granted her the Oscar award. She is the obvious choice for this biopic. Audiences would eat it up. She would sell alot more tickets than Berry. There would be less head scrathcing about the choice.

  17. rundee says:

    @ StopKiddingYo

    That´s what I think too. I´m just afraid that this is not what Hollywood-producers think.

  18. womanfromthenorth says:

    I’m going with Jen H on this one, Halle is way off for the Queen of Soul.

    Ms. Hudson fits the bill

  19. DogBoy says:

    If they take the story all the way to the present, they could just TIE HALLE BARRY & JENNIFER HUDSON TOGETHER to play Aretha.

  20. snappyfish says:

    Halle Berry did a nice job as Dorothy Dandridge in the HBO film several years ago. Aretha was thin once, in fact she had a yo yo thing going on there for awhile… Thin then Fat then Thin again. Everyone woman wants a beauty to play them in their biopic.

    I just don’t see the need for an Aretha biopic. Amazing voice, I am sure she has had trial and tribulations but I would rather just enjoy the music.

  21. trishy says:

    To play Aretha, Halle would need her old nose back.

  22. GatsbyGal says:

    Jennifer Hudson could do it, I think. She has that youthful face that Aretha had.

    Halle Berry could do it, too, but can she sing? And really, I wouldn’t be interested unless Halle was going to gain weight for the role. A rail-thin Aretha Franklin? Please.

  23. Cruisin Through says:

    HA! Nothing wrong with a positive self image, but is she blind?

    I want HB to play me too!

  24. Musicfan says:

    How would Jennifer Hudson put more butts in the seat than Halle Berry? However Hudson is the BETTER choice, except I don’t see anyone wanting to see a Aretha Franklin movie. “A Diana Ross one”? Sure. A Mike Tyson one? Yes. Aretha? No. She dosent have enough scandel.

  25. Moreaces says:

    Im still laughing over this from another blog I was on,, And as I said there, I think Jill Scott, or Queen Latifi(sp) would make a much better choice

  26. BReed says:

    Toni Braxton looks like the younger Aretha, plus she can sing!

  27. Camille says:

    Maybe if Halle had her original nose, then maybe.
    But yes I agree, she should be played by Jennifer Hudson! She would be perfect. Plus she can sing.

  28. nsfw says:

    what’s wrong with halle berry playing aretha? i think it’s workable, halle could gain some weight and be accompanied with a bodysuit that would make her fit the body type required and I’d like to see halle get a great meaty role.
    another option- kerry washington. she fell off the grid after her amazing role in last king of scotland

    queen latifah is a good option also- she’s proven shes got the chops as an actor (chicago)

    i just dont really care to see jhud (love her but no) in another role as a singer…she’ll get typecast i want to see her branch out acting wise.

  29. Mrs K 2 be says:

    Terrence Howard??? No way! Smokey Robinson should be played by Pharrell Williams…if he could bulk up slightly. He has the high pitched singing voice and has the look of Smokey too.
    Just a thought….

  30. Lushus L. says:

    Wow, this has got me thinking about who I would like to play me in a movie about me! I would choose Taylor Mc Pantless ( with brown hair ) for my teen years, Dita Von Teese for my young adult years and Nicole Kidman for the present! Is this a fun game or what? ;-)

  31. nsfw says:

    ooooh my turn @ lushus:

    In reality i should have jordin sparks play me (ppl tell me i look like her all the time ) BUT in my highly stylized hollywood biopic I’d be played by a young penelope cruz haha

  32. Diva says:

    Well, a Facebook quiz told me I should be played by Angelina, so I have proof and I’m stickin’ to it! LOL {=0P

    I think Halle would be ok if it were ONLY about the much younger years of Aretha. If they’re going to do the whole expanse of career, I think they’d have to look for someone a little easier to corset and pad, over and over and over. But I don’t think Hudson looks anything like Aretha. I’m sure Aretha would insist they lip sync over her vocals anyway, whomever plays her isn’t going to need to sing!

  33. J. Hud is DEFINITELY a better choice. She’s reaching for the moon and the stars with the Halle decision, no disrespect!

  34. Mistral says:

    That’s a nice compliment for Halle.

  35. Hautie says:

    I would want to see an actress who can actually sing in the title role.

    Jennifer Hudson is a great idea.

    Plus Jennifer is also a Oscar winner.
    Where her singing and acting got her the award.
    I liked her performance in it.
    Better than the awful acting of Beyonce.

    Has it crossed anyone’s mind that Halle Berry is tooooo old to try to pull off being a 20 year old? And there is no need to gain weight to play this part. There are pads that could be used.

    But the worst thing that could happen is Aretha having any say so over the project.

    Movie’s like this need to have the living subject far removed. Cause they only want the good. And none of the ugly truth. There was alot of unfortunate things that happen in her 20′s. She has not had a easy life. Contrary to being well known young.

    Sadly the movie will be a complete bust if it doesn’t have the actress doing her own singing. Lip syncing is never the way to go with bio’s.

    Plus wouldn’t it be great if Jennifer Hudson manage to win another Oscar!

    Beyonce would crap her pants.

    Ohhhhh and Aretha needs to put on a dang bra.

    Those sisters are only swinging that low because they are not strapped up where they belong.

  36. CB Rawks says:

    Hudson would definitely be right for Aretha.

    Hmm, to play me I would like Tina Fey. That way the whole thing could be written much funnier than real life, and I would still be adorable. ;)

  37. M says:

    I agree, Kelly Price is a very talented singer (although I don’t know about acting). She sang back up for Mariah Carey for years.

    Beyonce would be terrible, her acting is as atrocious as her music!

  38. Goomba123 says:

    I think Jennifer Hudson is the best choice but another good choice would be Toni Braxton

  39. Paula's pillbox says:

    Gwyneth would be the perfect choice!
    She beautiful and she can sing.

  40. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.