The upcoming Lifetime biopic on the life and career of Aaliyah has faced plenty of controversy, from the late-great singers family, to fans who desperately just want her story told the best way possible. After Disney actress and singer Zendaya Coleman dropped out of the role, it was announced that production would continue and a young, lesser-known rising actress named Alexandra Shipp, would fill the film’s leading role.
While many fans are still skeptical of the choice, and on the real reasons for the made-for-tv film, Alexandra Shipp is standing strong on her decision to take on the controversial role.
In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Shipp showed off her big personality and confidence as she revealed that she was up for the challenge, and that the role was her calling. “It was scary, but I knew that I had to do it,” she said. “I don’t know, something in me was like you have to do this. You’re going to love this experience more than anything.”
Although Lifetime was denied clearance to use Aaliyah’s actual music in the film, they are legally allowed to have covers recorded, and Shipp revealed that she is indeed singing the songs in the film. She gave ET’s Kevin Frazier a taste of what we can expect with an a cappella of “The One I Gave My Heart To.”
‘Aaliyah: Princess of R&B‘ is set to premiere on November 15 at 8/7c on Lifetime. Check out the interview below: