FIRST LOOK: Naomi Ackie transforms into Whitney Houston as seen on the set of the biopic

FIRST LOOK: Naomi Ackie transforms into Whitney Houston as seen on the set of the biopic

Filming is in full swing on the highly anticipated Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

And Naomi Ackie – the actress who portrays the late pop superstar – made her role debut on Thursday in Los Angeles on the film’s set.

The 29-year-old London native looked spot on as Houston around the 1980s-early 90s, which is around the time she released her first two studio albums, which spawned seven number one hits.

Icon: Houston seen in 1991

First look: Naomi Ackie, 29, was spotted in her role for the first time on the set of the Whitney Houston biopic – I Wanna Dance With Somebody – on Thursday

Ackie was seen between takes walking along a dock where a luxury white boat was moored.

The costume department had dressed her in a blue and pink 1980s-inspired one-piece swimsuit, along with a multicolored sarong that covered much of her lower body.

In keeping with the beach vibe, she also donned a pair of white flip-flops for the waterfront scene.

And the actress was styled with Houston’s signature curly brunette bob, which she wore during her meteoric rise to superstardom.

In a nutshell, it appears that the costume department had styled the British-born actress to resemble Houston from the late 1980s-early 90s era

In a nutshell, it appears that the costume department had styled the British-born actress to resemble Houston from the late 1980s-early 90s era

Nostalgic: The costume department had her dressed in a blue and pink 1980s-inspired one-piece swimsuit, along with a multicolored sarong that covered much of her lower body

Nostalgic: The costume department had her dressed in a blue and pink 1980s-inspired one-piece swimsuit, along with a multicolored sarong that covered much of her lower body

Signature Cut: The actress was styled with Houston's signature curly brunette bob, which she sported during her meteoric rise to superstardom

Signature Cut: The actress was styled with Houston’s signature curly brunette bob, which she sported during her meteoric rise to superstardom

As she walked around the set on Thursday, Ackie was surrounded by several members of the film’s production team.

The British-born star is best known to most fans for playing Jannah in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

After being cast as Whitney Houston last year, she assured fans she was “doing the work” needed to prepare for the role.

“I’m going to do my best because this woman – it sends chills down my spine how much she means to me, to the world, to black women, to African American women. I’ll do my best to make sure she’s adequately represented,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

She added: “I just want to tell her story. And I think if I’m able to simplify it to that, I’ll be able to handle the pressure.

Role of a lifetime: After being cast as Whitney Houston last year, she assured fans she's

Role of a lifetime: After being cast as Whitney Houston last year, she assured fans she’s “doing the work” necessary to prepare for the role; Ackie was spotted in 2018

The film, which chronicles her life and career, was written by Anthony McCarten, who previously wrote the screenplay for the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), and directed by Kasi Lemmons, who is best known for directing “Harriet” (2019) is known.

The cast includes Ashton Sanders (Bobby Brown), Stanley Tucci (Clive Davis), Nafessa Williams (Robyn Crawford), Clarke Peters (John Houston, Whitney’s father) and Tamara Tunie (Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother). .

Last February marked the tenth anniversary of Houston’s tragic death at the age of 48. The Where Do Broken Hearts Go star was found dead in a bathtub in a Beverly Hilton hotel room on February 11, 2012.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office confirmed that her cause of death was due to accidental drowning, and that drugs were found in her system at the time.

Breakout: Ackie is best known to most fans for her role as Jannah in Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Legendary: With over 200 million records sold worldwide, Houston is one of the best-selling musical genres of all time

“I’m going to do my best because this woman – it sends chills down my spine how much she means to me, to the world, to black women, to African American women. I’ll do my best to make sure she’s adequately represented,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

In another tragic twist, Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, whom she shared with her ex-husband Bobby Brown, was found unconscious and face down in a bathtub at her Georgia home in January 2015. She was placed in a medically induced coma, but ultimately she never regained consciousness and died the following July, less than six months later.

With over 200 million records sold worldwide, Houston is one of the best-selling musicians of all time.

And among her many accolades, she’s the only musician to have had seven consecutive number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including: Saving All My Love for You, How Will I Know, Greatest Love Of All, I Wanna Dance with Someone (who loves me) we didn’t almost have it all so emotional and where do broken hearts go

I Wanna Dance With Somebody is set to hit theaters exclusively on December 21st.

Coming soon: I Wanna Dance With Somebody will be released exclusively in cinemas on December 21st

Coming soon: I Wanna Dance With Somebody will be released exclusively in cinemas on December 21st