Yaya DaCosta to Play Whitney Houston In TV Biopic: ANTM Model Casting Details

Entertainment Jun. 9, 2014 AT 2:00PM
Yaya DeCosta and Whitney Houston Former America's Next Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta has been cast to play the late Whitney Houston in an upcoming Lifetime biopic, I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, directed by Angela Bassett. Credit: Rommel Demano/Getty; Phil Dent/Redferns

They said yes to Yaya! Former America's Next Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta has been cast to play the late Whitney Houston in Lifetime's upcoming biopic, according to TVLine.

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Though she impressed judges as the season three runner-up of Tyra Banks' modeling reality series, DaCosta will show off her acting chops as the lead in the made-for-TV film, I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story. The 31-year-old actress' IMDB profile was updated to reflect the casting announcement. As producers shared in a press release last month, Houston's Waiting to Exhale costar Angela Bassett will direct the movie.

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Post-ANTM, DaCosta has built up a rep as a working actor. She had a recurring role on daytime soap All My Children in 2008 and a seven-episode arc as Nicol Slater in Ugly Betty the following year. DaCosta's film credits include roles in movies like Lee Daniels' The Butler, In Time, and Tron: Legacy.

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Her upcoming role will be a challenging one, as the plot line chronicles Houston's love story with R&B bad boy Bobby Brown -- and the eventual, very messy disintegration of their marriage. According to a press release, the Lifetime movie will depict Houston and Bobby Brown's life, "from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage." (The actor who will take Brown's role has yet to be announced.)

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Bassett, 55, said the project is one that she will put great effort into. "I have such regard for both Whitney's and Bobby's amazing talents and accomplishments," she said in the release, "and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story."

I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story will be released sometime in 2015.

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