Bria Danielle Singleton is having a breakout moment. The 16-year-old actress plays Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, in I Wanna Dance With Somebody. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Bria about chronicling Whitney’s life in the biopic and what she learned about Bobbi Kristina.
“Family values was just so important to her and just the whole family in general,” Bria said. “It felt like her bond with her mother was just so strong because they were always near. She always kept Bobbi close to her and kept her around. I feel like it’s pretty hard to do that, especially with the lifestyle Whitney lived in. I think that’s just such an important thing to recognize and love.”
Bria worked closely with Naomi Ackie, who plays Whitney in the film. The young actress admitted she always “felt so relaxed” around Naomi. “I already had anxieties going into this role, and she just made it all go away. She was a very supporting person,” Bria revealed. She admitted she had anxieties about playing Bobbi Kristina because “I felt like I was representing somebody. It’s not like a regular role that you have or a character you make up. This is somebody people knew, so I wanted to do her justice.”
Bobbi Kristina was Whitney’s only child with ex Bobby Brown. Whitney tragically died at the age of 48 in 2012 from a drug-related accidental drowning. Just three years later, Bobbi was found unconscious in her bathtub. After being in a coma for almost 6 months, Bobbi passed away at the age of just 22.
To play Bobbi Kristina, Bria watched interviews and videos featuring Whitney’s daughter. “I know they had their own show. I felt like Bobbi was being genuine about herself. I already knew a lot about Whitney Houston’s life because it’s Whitney Houston,” Bria told HollywoodLife.
Bria noted that the biopic is a “celebration” of Whitney and everything she accomplished. She admitted that seeing Naomi as Whitney for the first time was an incredible experience. “I can’t even put it in words, to be honest,” Bria said. “The moment I met her she was already like Whitney. She had a costume on for the ‘How Will I Know’ music video, so she was already in hair and makeup. She was just so supportive and sweet from the get-go.”
As her star rises in Hollywood, Bria looks to actresses like Marsai Martin for inspiration. Bria told HollywoodLife that Marsai is a “young black woman who’s done so many things with her career at such a young age. I feel like she’s just such an inspiration to follow. She’s not just an actor. She’s also a producer and has her own company. That’s really inspiring.” I Wanna Dance With Somebody is out in theaters now.