First-Time Director Angela Bassett Defends Her Whitney Houston Biopic

(Photo Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Angela Bassett considers it a "gift" to be able to tell Whitney Houston's story in the upcoming Lifetime biopic.

Bassett, who is making her directorial debut with the TV movie about the late singer, was responding to criticism about the upcoming biopic.

"I consider it a gift that was given to me, the opportunity to tell this story and try to tell it with love and compassion and dignity," Bassett told "HuffPost Live." "I, like, everyone adored her."

Bassett worked with Houston on the 1995 hit film "Waiting to Exhale."

"We had a wonderful time together," Bassett recalled, adding that she and Houston and the other two female co-stars would go bowling and play cards off the set. "She was very young and at the top of her game. It was a delightful time. She was amazing to be around."

The film centers on the love story between the singer and husband Bobby Brown, amid recent objections from Houston's mother, gospel legend Cissy Houston that "no one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with Bobby."

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In July, Cissy Houston told " Entertainment Tonight" in an exclusive statement, "In the two years since Whitney's death, many people have stepped forward to speak about their close relationship with her. I find it difficult to believe people who knew and supposedly loved her would participate in a movie about her done by folks who didn't know her. We are exhausted by the continuing misinformation and comments offered by people who did not know her. Please please let her rest."

Bassett told "HuffPost Live," "I did spend a little time [with] her, but to know her intimately, intimately - I mean, who does but the person and the Lord they serve? Who knows a person?"

She added, "But I know a little about being in the spotlight, a little about celebrity and its demands, a little about trying to find a mate and the support that's needed in your industry; mine being acting, hers [the] music industry. I know about being a woman, about being a black woman that came up in a little hometown … and yet you are able to become a success because of this God-given gift of talent. So I know a little bit about what it might have been like."