This Saturday Lifetime premiered their new film Aaliyah: Princess of R&B. Now, I will say that this post is not about bashing anyone in the movie. But I will say this, things would’ve probably went a lot smoother if Lifetime got the approval from Aaliyah’s family.
As a fan of Aaliyah, there is a reason that I choose not to bash the portrayal. Though creating the film (using loosely) without the approval and respect of Aaliyah’s family, we all know that she herself would have been happy that people who wanted to work to pursue their dreams, had the chance. The prime reason I said that is because the young lady who portrays Aaliyah (Alexandra Shipp) is a young, hungry woman looking to make a mark in the industry. Though this is not her first gig; she took the job because she is a fan of Aaliyah and thought it would be amazing. From the beginning though the film was doomed. Disney star Zendaya got the role originally, and after being scrutinized by the world she decided to step down from the role. SHE IS A CHILD!! Why did no one see anything wrong with that? She herself is a working young woman, whom I am sure at some point wants to be seen outside of the Disney world. Zendaya also is a fan of Aaliyah.
My basic point is that if anyone wants to be mad at anyone for making the film be upset with the company first. The company knew that they didn’t have the approval of the family members, and respectfully the film should have not been made. There is also the emotional connection for people who may have done it just to find a small way to show their love of someone. Just like Jennifer Lopez in Selena, or Charles Malik Whitfield, D. B. Woodside, Terron Brooks, Christian Payton and Leon playing the roles of The Temptations in the television film The Temptations. What about Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs? And one that some went just as hard for Lindsay Lohan as Liz Taylor in Liz & Dick.
All of the people who played, auditioned and took these roles wanted to pay respect to those they were playing because they had some affect on their lives.
Now, that I have put some positivity towards the ACTORS in the film. Let me say this. Lifetime should not have made the film about Aaliyah. It has been 13 years since Baby Girl has left the world and their is a reason that was not any other biopics/portrayals released. Because the family did not agree. And since they did not agree and the family owns the rights to her videos and songs those couldn’t be used either.
So, there were no real details about her. There was no way to use her music or visuals. In other words there was a lot speculation, maybe even misrepresentation (I wasn’t there either) and things still got done.