Whispers are afloat that R&B/Pop princess Rihanna is being courted to portray African-American/French singer, actress, and dancer Josephine Baker in a future film.
Based on the autobiography of her life titled Josephine, the film is set to be filmed by Noosa Films, who won the rights to the book from French publishers. Producer W. Lance Reynolds says he had Rihanna in mind from the beginning. “Rihanna is one of the most talented performers of this millennium and with her unique acting and performing abilities I have no doubt she will bring Josephine back to life on the big screen,” he said in a statement.
Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis in 1906, Josephine Baker played vaudeville in the U.S. before traveling to France where her singing, acting and energetic dancing became a huge success, even gaining her French citizenship. Diana Ross petitioned for years to make a film about the multi-faceted entertainer after her many portrayals, but it was actress Lynn Whitfield had the chance to play Baker in HBO’s 1991 film The Josephine Baker Story, which earned her an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie.
While Rihanna’s acting debut in 2012’s sci-fi film Battleship was received with mixed/negative reviews, RiRi was speculated to be on the top of the list when it came to choosing someone to play the late Whitney Houston shortly after her passing. “That would be something that I would have to give my entire life to do because I would want to really pull it off,” she told The Associated Press about the possibility.
Is Rihanna a good choice to play Josephine Baker?