Naomi Ackie says people ‘freaked out’ when they heard her British accent on set

Naomi Ackie Says People ‘Freaked Out’ When They Heard Her British Accent On Set Naomi Ackie Says People ‘Freaked Out’ When They Heard Her British Accent On Set
Graham Norton Show – London, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Naomi Ackie said cast and crew on the set of I Wanna Dance With Somebody were confounded when she spoke with a British accent straight after scenes playing American mega star Whitney Houston.

The British actress, who has 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 which is set for Irish release on December 23rd.

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

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

She was found dead at the age of 48 in a hotel in Beverly Hills in 2012 and a coroner found cocaine had been a contributing factor.

Appearing on The Graham Norton Show, Ackie said: “People freaked out when they heard my British voice. On set I would be talking as Whitney and then afterwards I was like, ‘Bloody hell, that was a hard day innit!’


“I had been working on the accent for six months and thought I had it down, then suddenly putting in the fake teeth meant I had to learn it all over again.”

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

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

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

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

The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One and iPlayer on Friday at 10.40pm.

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