Naomi Ackie says people ‘panic’ when they hear her British accent on set

Naomi Ackie said the cast and crew of I Wanna Dance With Somebody were confused when she spoke with a British accent right after scenes playing American superstar Whitney Houston.

British actress, who appeared in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and Netflix’s The End Of The F***ing World, takes on the role of Houston in the upcoming biopic, due out in the UK on December 23.

At its peak, Houston was considered one of the greatest singers thanks to hits like How Will I Know, I Will Always Love You and I Have Nothing.

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Tom Hanks, Suranne Jones, Naomi Ackie, Graham Norton, Richard Osman and Rina Sawaya during filming for the Graham Norton Show (Ian West/PA)

She was found dead aged 48 in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2012, and the coroner discovered cocaine as a contributing factor.

Appearing on The Graham Norton Show, Ackie said: “People freak out when they hear my British accent. On set, I would talk as Whitney and then I’d be like, ‘Damn, that was a tough day!’

“I studied pronunciation for six months and thought I had mastered it, then suddenly had to put in dentures and I had to start all over again.”

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Naomi Ackie during filming for the BBC’s Graham Norton Show (Ian West/PA)

The 30-year-old, who appeared on the BBC talk show alongside Tom Hanks, Suranne Jones and Richard Osman, was also asked if she found Houston hard to hear after making the film.

She added: “I had to take a break because I was really immersed in her world. But now I listen to her to recall some of the moments I filmed. It was such a formative moment in my life and career that I look back on it fondly.”

Ackie will also star in Zoe Kravitz’s Pussy Island-oriented debut, a thriller in which a waitress is taken to a private island by a tech mogul.

The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One and iPlayer on Fridays at 10:40pm. Naomi Ackie says people ‘panic’ when they hear her British accent on set

Fry Electronics Team

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