Halle Berry would 'entertain the idea' of playing Queen of Soul
January 18th, 2011
03:20 PM ET

Halle Berry would 'entertain the idea' of playing Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin would love for Halle Berry to portray her in an upcoming biopic, but the Oscar winner says she just doesn’t have the vocal chops to pull it off.

When CNN’s Roland Martin emailed Berry, 44, to ask about the casting conundrum, Berry replied that while she was moved and flattered by the statement, she wasn’t so sure she was the right pick.

"I adore Aretha...ADORE her,” Berry said, “but I'm sure she would want the actress to sing."

Berry made a similar statement about the potential part on the red carpet at the Golden Globes Sunday - clearly, this is one actress who isn't trying to crossover into music. “If I could carry a tune, I'd consider it," she told E!'s Ryan Seacrest. "Someone should tell Aretha that I can't do her justice."

Franklin issued a statement last week announcing her top picks for the film, including Denzel Washington to portray her father, Baptist minister and civil rights leader C.L. Franklin, and Terrence Howard for the role of the legendary Smokey Robinson. The 68-year-old legend also mentioned the film on “The Wendy Williams Show" last week, noting that "Halle Berry is my pick" to play an adult Aretha.

Although Berry swears she can't hold a note, she did say that she's open to thinking about it.

“I would absolutely entertain the idea, it would be an honor for anyone to play her,” Berry told CNN. “I would entertain producing and helping in anyway. I believe her life and contribution to the music industry is an important part of the legacy of our people and needs to be told."

Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (186 Responses)
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  6. breanna

    i think fantasia she got a great voice like aretha

    March 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
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    January 27, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. john

    So, I'm guessing that most of you think Joss Stone is too tall?

    January 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JD

    @Billie. I agree!!

    People: enough with the weight remarks

    January 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JD

    @Billie. I agree!!

    January 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Billie

    Jennifer Hudson should play Aretha Franklin because she's the only one I can think of who could really pull it off credibly. She has the pipes, the soul and earthiness so unique to Ms. Franklin. I think she would play her more believeably than anyone out there! Halle Berry should play Lena Horne because she has the beauty, grace and gravitas to bring the dignity to the role that it deserves. Halle lip synced when she did Dorothy Dandridge so there's no reason why she can't do the same with Ms. Horne. Don't get me wrong, though, because I think Halle could pull it off, but Hudson would do better as Ms. Ree and Halle would take Ms. Hornes' story to the moon!

    January 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JB

    I dont think jennifer hudson wants to gain more weight for this role but she still would be a good fit. She just lost weight and looks amazing.

    January 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. smokey

    The only person that could play Aretha is Jennifer Hudson, maybe Fantasia, My choice is Jennifer.

    January 19, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. M

    Toni Braxton would be an excellent Aretha.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Frank

    If John Candy were alive, he's be a good fit.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  16. andy

    I think they should conduct a nationwide search for an upcomong singer which Aretha should be involved in. The music industry has gotten almost impossible to develop new artists and this would put new singer x on the fast track to success via all the platforms available to her via the movie, search, further promo..

    January 19, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • M

      Andy, a real "talent search" is always the best way to go...but, you know Hollywood, "time is money" Personally, I think Toni Braxton could pull it off, and no one should be singing the part of the Queen. Just like Jamie Fox didn't sing Ray Charles's music.

      Never to the audience for granted; Hollywood and Aretha need to be resonable on this one.

      January 19, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  17. The_Mick

    Halle Berry's way to pretty to play Aretha. It would distract and take away from any accurate portrayal.

    January 19, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  18. fsr35

    I think they should get ex idol contestant Frenchie Davis.....she has the physical and vocal attributes!!!

    January 19, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  19. Terrance

    Whitney Houston.

    January 19, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  20. JennFla

    Queen is a SINGER not just a rapper whoever said that and she is an awesome actress! But Jennifer Hudson wld be the best all around pick to play her but I can understand why she wld want Halle to play her she is freakin BEAUTIFUL I'm a white woman I'd pick her to play me too if I could lol!

    January 19, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  21. Ron31

    All of you people who are saying that Jennifer Hudson would be the best choice is correct,but she lost alot of weight(SEE THE WEIGHT WATCHERS COMMERCIAL). So she would have to either wear a body suit.

    January 19, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  22. JK

    Surprised no one mentioned Queen Latifah; Beautiful, can act (Chicago) and sing

    January 19, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  23. steve

    No way Halle. That fat pig in Precious should be the choice. Looks just like Aretha!

    January 19, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  24. TildaMann

    Halle? OMG! Halle just wants more awards! Why not do it completely in CGI. I guess Aretha doesn't care for Beyonce.

    January 19, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  25. Mookie

    Jennifer Hudson IS an actress - DUH. Check her movie credits AND OSCAR. Halle is NOT a great actress regardless and would NOT make a good Queen of Soul AT ALL. Angela Bassett, Monique, Queen Latifah, Tina Turner, Regina King, Jackee, Loretta Devine, Jenifr Lewis and MANY others would suits MUCH BETTER. Aretha is crazy to consider Halle, thye look nothing alike, she's not soulful and sining yourself is VERY important.

    January 19, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  26. steve

    If she does she better pack on another 300 lbs.

    January 19, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  27. Laura Drewes

    Emma Jean Foster, lead Diva from Rev. Cecil Williams Glide CHURCH Rock and Roll Gospel Ensemble is fantastic. She also sang for Carlos Santana when inducted to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Glide is 330 ELLIS ST., SAN FRANCISCO, CA. Sweet Lord of mercy check her out! ARETHA deserves SOUL in the pipes too! And she gnt talent with facial expressions and she beautiful I SWEAR TO GOD AS MY WITNESS!

    January 19, 2011 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  28. katalin isola

    I love her,sees great good luck .

    January 19, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  29. rahrekusdesigned.com

    NO No No.....Halle B.or Alicia K. should play Lena Horne!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mary J. Blige should play Aretha! c'mon Queen!

    January 19, 2011 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
    • rahrekusdesigned.com

      I am for "barbie doll" Jenny to play Aretha...sure! hahaaha

      January 19, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  30. RealChick

    OBVIOUSLY,OBVIOUSLY,OBVIOUSLY some of you haven't done ANY Ms.Franklin research. This woman was not always that SIZE! Get your musical history books out children you may learn something!

    January 19, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  31. Sasha

    My first pick; Jennifer Hudson.

    January 19, 2011 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  32. kingsley

    Come on folks Jill will nail it! and she's got a presence too....it'll be quite believable even for die hard Aretha fans like us outside the states.

    January 19, 2011 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  33. vanessa jackson

    Luv halle or jen hudson

    January 19, 2011 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  34. jen4jen

    Jennifer Hudson

    January 19, 2011 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  35. Name*chris

    come on Halle,you know u can do it. It's going to be interesting having you on it.

    January 19, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  36. Name*chris

    come on Halle,you know u can do it. It's going to interesting having you on it.

    January 19, 2011 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  37. jo

    Ms Berry does favor Aretha Franklin when she was younger. Not as light...but she could pull it off.. Ms Hudson could come in as Aretha in her adult years...Queen Latifah too tall and manly...

    January 19, 2011 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  38. Michele

    My vote is Missy Elliott.

    January 19, 2011 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  39. Name*mg

    Jennifer Holiday is an awesome choice. Remember Jennifer Hudson was acting the Jennifer holiday part. What a great suggestion.

    January 19, 2011 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |


    January 19, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  41. Pennie robinson

    These are good choses but Halli can play the role its the art of make up and they didnt know Aretha when she was young. I DID SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL AND STILL IS. Learn to know the people. This movie is a bio back in the day and guess what shes had a make over and still looks good dont down our historians she is our queen of soul!

    January 19, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  42. jerryflo

    Jenifer yes. When is someone going tomake a bio of Bessie Smith. There's a challenge. Jenifer Hudson definitely for that role

    January 19, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  43. tyana

    I saw Jennifer Hudson as well. She has the soul, heart and love to portray Aretha Queen of Soul. Have an Oscar Winner w/pipes do it!

    January 19, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  44. Kay

    I'm not sure of their acting ability, but Tina and/or Erica of Mary Mary (gospel duo) have the perfect vocals. Also Y'Anna Crawly of Sunday Best! Just a thought!

    January 19, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  45. Candy


    January 19, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  46. Kim

    Aretha was smaller in her early day, but I do not see the Halle Berry in her at all. Fantasia sounds like young Aretha, but I think Jennifer Hudson would be the best pick. Beyonce....SMH!

    January 19, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  47. Mario

    Halle Berry would be horrible as Aretha Franklin.

    January 19, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  48. drw2007

    Jennifer Hudson, no doubt, would be my vote! She has a beautiful voice, can act, and would be a great embodiment of the Queen!

    January 19, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  49. S Burton

    Considering Halle Berry for that role is absolutely ridiculous. What is Ms Aretha thinking? Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Jasmin Sullivan and Jill Scott would make sense.

    January 19, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  50. rodie

    If Berry is willing to put on about 50 pounds for the role, then yeah let her have it!

    January 19, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  51. janaan mitchell

    I say kell price. It were a movie about chaka khan I would say jennifer hudson. But I love every part halle has played. She pulls it off.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Karen

    Raven may be a contender. She can sing dance and act. A role like this would really put her over the top. We love Raven! But my first pick is JH. Would be wonderful to see Raven in a support role. Roberta Flack maybe.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  53. ihvnput

    How about that girl Raven?

    January 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  54. ebony

    Definitely Jennifer Hudson. She would do Aretha proud.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  55. ebony

    Definitely Jennifer Hudson. She would do u proud.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  56. JD

    Halle is more the type to play the great Lena Horne. She could portray Aretha but Jennifer Hudson could BECOME Aretha on film. And how about Fantasia as Gladys Knight.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Amber

    1.) Mary J. Blidge. 2.) queen latifah. 3.) JEn hudson. 4.) JILL scott. 5.) Leona lewis. 6.) monica Arnold. 7.) WHOOPI GOLDBERG. 8.) kellY rowlanD. 9.) AlIcIa KeYs. 10.) jeNifer Lewis. 11.) daVida Wiliamz. 12.) novIe edwArds.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Rosetta /Menomonee Falls, WI

    I think Halle Berry would do her justice. Why is Halle saying she won't do her justice just because she doesn't have the pipes? I saw Halle play Dorothy Dandridge
    (sp?') and she was great! Dorothy Dandridge was a night club singer. What is wrong with Halle? Is she afraid to gain a little weight later in the picture. I would not beg her so let Beyonce or Jennifer Hudson play the part. Beyonce was good in the movie " Cadillac Records and Jennifer in Dreams Girls." Movie stars lose and gain weight all the time.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  59. jermaine henderson

    black dudes be where it at in hollywood. we be makin the money dog!

    January 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |

    My family would have jen hudson or angela bassett or novie edwards. no brandy norwood or whitney houston. bcuz no one from my family likes either 1. Same way 4 kelly rowland or phycila rachad or raven. plus halle berry or alicia keys.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  61. jermaine henderson

    she needs to start dating them black dudes again dog!

    January 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  62. ch6541

    Either Hudson or Latifah would do justice to the role, and should be the forerunners. They need to take it before Hollywood tries to prove once and for all that Streep can indeed play any role. Lol

    January 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  63. DoRightWoman

    Loretta Divine!!!! Does anyohe even know that she was in the original cast of the Broadway play Dreamgirls? Loretta can not only sing, she can make the hardships of Aretha's rise believable. Loretta ...Hands down ....!!!

    January 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Dreika

    I agree Aretha was a fox back in da 60s and no one can match her voice and i think Halle would be a good choice to play her. Look at Angela Bassett she lipped sing Tina Turner songs in Whats Love Got To Do With It and she did beautifully so i wouldnt rule out Halle I think she would do the part best as an actress i would whether see good acting wit someone lip singing da part den someone who cant act but can sing

    January 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Clarence Bodiger

    Berry is a joke of an actress, as seen by her career. And many of the other flash of the pan "singers" you fools spat out, makeup ridden dolls warbleing songs about money, cars, and men beating them. Find a good unknown, let her do the role insted of another fake auto tuned robot.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Joyce Jackson

    Pick Jennifer Hudson she is the right person for the job. Don't make the wrong choice.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Joyce Jackson

    Jennifer Hudson will be the best lady to play , the lady of soul she has a wonderful voice. If you remember Aretha has not always been big, she was small , then she was big. She has always been up and down, so i think Jennifer would be a great Aretha Franklyn , she's small now, they could put pound's on her and take them off when need be.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Michelle

    I think Jennifer Hudson or Fantasia should portray Ms.Aretha Franklin. They both have strong voices, acting skills and can sing. Ms Franklin I hope when you do this movie u want forget your roots in Buffalo especially the Church were your father preached and you sang in the choir at Friendship Baptist Church. Don' t forget where u came from.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  69. teresa, ohio

    I love Halle, but no, this role is not for her.

    I dont know why they take NORMAL looking people, re; Aretha, and have a stick thin, beautiful actress play her.
    Get someone believable. Aretha is not drop dead gorgeous... she is average. She has never been stick thin, so dont lets pretend she was. In fact, Aretha's size is partly what helps give her that fantastic voice.

    Please, give me a "thick" woman to play Aretha. In fact, why not get a NO NAME struggling to be seen?

    January 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  70. eldono

    It doesn't matter how much Aretha and Halle are friends or how much Aretha wants Halle to play her. Halle Berry would be way out of her element playing Aretha Franklin. I think Halle is being kind when when she says she doesn't have the singing ability. They just looks so different.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  71. TXGranny

    Jennifer Hudson ,Toni Braxton,Queen Latifa,
    Some one they can turn into Aretha.
    Halle Barry no!!!! even if she could sing. HB can do Lena Horn's movie.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • M

      TXGranny, I agree...Toni Braxton for Aretha and Halle Berry for Lena Horne. You nailed it baby! You should be casting director.

      January 19, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  72. bobby

    I really think Ms.Berry is flattered by the offer however I think she also realizes that it would be regressive as an actor to portray "Lady Soul" since she has done this "type" of bio piece before. Really would like to see the entire cast of Ms. Franklin's Story be an orginal cast and revamp what we see as pertaining to BLACK TALENT. NOW that would serve "the QUEEN OF SOUL" justice being that she is such an Orginal piece Of Talent. GIVE SOME NEW COMERS with HEART AND SOUL a Chance to "SHINE".

    January 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Garbo

    -halle berry? why not have nicole kidman or lucy liu. wouldn't be any more ridiculous.-

    Marc in NYC that was quite funny. Actually, very funny... but not so ridiculous when looking at 1960 Aretha.

    January 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  74. retired and happy at home

    Jennifer Hudson or Fantasia. Jennifer is my first choice. She is an excellent actress and looks more like Aretha. And we all know she can sang.. So can Fantasia sing but I choose Jennifer.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Clara


    January 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Karen

    Jennifer Hudson, the Queen or Beyonce (and she can act)are my top picks. Jill Scott could do this role. Not so sure about Fantasia but I plan to see this film regardless who portrays Aretha. I like the idea suggested of holding Idol contests to find an unknown but that would only work if singing were the only challenge. This person will portray a living legend that helped opened the doors Jennifer, the Queen, Beyonce, Jill and Fantasia walked through. Show some respect guys.

    January 18, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  77. alien

    How about Madonna?

    January 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  78. cheryl sterling

    First choice should be QUEEN LATIFA--second choice would be JENNIFER HUDSON–third place JENNIFER HOLIDAY. Halle -no !! The movie would be a joke.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  79. MissGia

    Halle became Dorothy Dandridge. She was believable. As Aretha I think the movie would be lost if she doesn't believe herself that she can be Aretha.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  80. New Orleans

    Jennifer Hudson or Fantasia would be best lets just be realistic.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  81. LindaKB

    Hey, let the woman have her fantasies...she's earned it!

    January 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Elle

    Aretha is a legend but...at this point she may as well ask her part to be played by Natalie Portman...it's as realistic as Halle Barry playing her. I think Queen Latifah is really the only actress that could play her. Jennifer Hudson has lost a lot of weight..though vocally she could pull off the role. Honestly the best thing would be to cast an unknown actress.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Lamont

    How about Ruben Studdard? He'd make a much better fit than Halle Berry. Aretha has a great voice, but she's not that pretty. Delusional to think Halle Berry should portray her in a movie.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Mrs.Wingfield

    Mary J. Blidge would be a perfect fit! She embodies the soulful experience expressed vocally that is neccessary to portray such a dynamic icon as Aretha Franklin. Simular to Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • ANaturalWoman

      Hold on ... I can ALMOST see it .... AFTER Loretta Divine ...!! Loretta can act AND sing ... it would be effortless ...

      January 18, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Gerald

    Jill Scott or Jazmine Sullivan are best known choices

    January 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  86. ndiezel

    Anyone ever see that Seinfeld where they are trying to cast their "Show about nothing" and George wants the thin, full head of hair, nice looking guy to play him? I'm just saying......

    January 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  87. martybearass

    OH C'MON!!! LOOK at aretha she NEVER was thin!!!ALWAYS had a weight problem!! Not really fat BUT chunky!!! Beyonce could do great job as younger!! she is pudgy... and Jennifer Hudson would be great choice for older years!!! Then Areatha herself could do the ending just like Tina Turner did!! at least make it look believable!!! That would be like having a baby play Diane Ross for her role (and YES I spelled it right )

    January 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  88. TJ

    Did anyone ask Aretha why she chose Halle?? I hate when the interviewer don't do a follow-up question.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  89. aussiegal

    I think either Jennifer Hudson or Jill Scott. They both have the vocals and they can both act.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Mousto

    I'm definitely going with Jenifer Hudson as my first choice and Queen Latifah for my second choice because she's a really good actress . We only give our suggestions...you got the last word on this topic .

    January 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Joe, San Diego

    1. Monica
    Besides Halle Berry did the Dorothy Dandridge HBO special with another singer doing the sing parts...

    January 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Belinda

    Mandisa from American Idol would be a GREAT fit....
    Please check out "He Is With You" on youtube.com. I hope she gets it. 🙂

    January 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  93. JJ

    Jennifer Hudson should play the part....period.!

    January 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Kitambi

    So...that leaves Jennifer Aniston to play Mama Cass???? Paaalleeeze People.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  95. kelly

    I think they should get someone unknown that can sing because looking at someome famous play someone else that is famous i think it would be hard to see the difference

    January 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Don_J

    This is an awesome woman and her smile is contagious… during Desert Shield/ Desert Storm Halle and Angela Bassett and some other celebs were guests on our little FOB for a full week! We were about 30 miles north of King Khalid Military City (KKMC), out in the desert heat, dirt, grime and blowing sand… let me tell you, these women were great… never complained, did everything the troops did… at MRE’s… hung out all night playing spades bid whist and dominoes. They had to learn how to wear the protective over-garments in case of chemical attacks and ran to the bunkers with us when alerts were sounded. They took turns severing the daily meal (which ever was scheduled, breakfast or dinner) didn’t complain about broken nails although they did bring everything needed to treat the few women that were on the FOB to manicures and pedicures, which I thought was very, very cool.

    I’m not sure how she felt after that week with us, but I can honestly tell you that everyone missed having her around… did I mention that I was Ms. Berry’s driver for that entire week! I really don’t think that she could pull of doing Aretha, maybe a better role for Jennifer Hudson or Queen like some others said, but I still love her!

    January 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Belinda

      That sounds like an amazing experience! Thanks for sharing. I don't think she would fit the part either but it mean people have to be rude. It's amazing what people say behind a computer which they would never say to someone's face.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  97. AJ

    Aretha was and is a beautiful woman. I get it. If I had a biopic made about me, I'd want Halle Berry to play me. Why not?
    She a talented actress and insanely gorgeous. However, she is a bit to old to play a young Aretha. I personally think Jazmine Sullivan would be perfect to play a young Aretha. She is a good age for the part and her vocals are undeniable.
    Check her out!!


    January 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  98. atlchick

    Jill Scott, Queen Latifah or Jennifer Hudson would be more believable in the role than Halle!

    January 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  99. StraightOutteBeverlyHills

    she really messed up when she cheated on eric binet. that's when her career went down hill.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Ria

    I agree Jill Scott, Angie Stone first choice Jennifer Hudson....I don't think besides the voice MJB or Beyonce could fit the part. I do agree WISHFUL thinking. Course I guess if I was famous or a Queen and could get away with it I'ld like for Selma Hayke to portray me....agiain WISHFUL THINKING....LOL

    January 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  101. barb

    Jill Scott, Fantasia of Beyonce.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  102. FlyingMom

    What about Alicia Keys? She has a great voice and has done some acting too.
    Thanks john for the link to the La Diva album. I had no idea Aretha used to have that figure.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  103. Vic

    Who is Scot?

    January 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  104. KIKI

    Tyler Perry wld be a closer fit than Halle...or Heavy D From back in the day!..I think he LOST weight though...LOL!

    January 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Korey

      That is pretty dumb. You must know nothing about music. Did your mom or grand mother put on weight when they got older? Where you stupid enough to laugh at them?

      January 19, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  105. V. Gin

    J. Hudson to me is the best choice.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  106. KIKI

    How about Tyler Perry or Al Sharpton!...

    January 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Lindadoright

    Jill Scott, Angie Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige even Beyonce. Why Aretha wants Halle Berry, I just don't get it. Wishful thinking I guess.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  108. john

    Look at the photo on the cover of the 1979 La Diva album. That's the Aretha I remember, but I'm old. 🙂



    P.S. – I have a suggestion for a singer if they decide to let the actor lip-sync it, but that's another topic for later on.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JackieInDallas

      Thanks, John....now THAT's the Aretha I remember. Everyone, when she became one of the hottest music stars, it was the 60s, for goodness sake! We've all aged, and some of us have gotten heavier. Why do you insist on thinking that the movie is about 2011, and not about 1967-1970? She was flat gorgeous, curvy but not heavy, and she had STYLE. That's where Halle is a good fit!

      January 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jarvy_J

      I agree Jackie. People are too worried about Aretha and how she looks now. I still don't thin Halle should play her only cuz I feel like, singing is a big part of it and Halle can't sing Dream girls was great because Jen could act and sing...she did a good job! Beyonce is not the right type for Aretha tho. I just wish people would get off the fact that she's put on some weight. I was no where in sight in the sixties but even I know better than that.

      January 19, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  109. Sebastian

    Jennifer Hudson is the hands down pick vocally and a close 2nd visually, plus she can act.

    Latifah is probably the closest look, can act but is a rapper, not a singer.

    Halle [already curvvy folks] has no place in this discussion. Neither does Fantasia.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • NY

      Queen Latifah is a wonderful singer. She recorded a jazz album a few years ago.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      She was also nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar a few years ago for Chicago... she did a ton of singing as Matron Mama Morton!

      January 19, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  110. D. B.

    Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Price, Jill Scott, but not Halle Berry! Gotta have real soul for a movie about the Queen!!

    January 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  111. Reason

    Better start eating

    January 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  112. Ana

    Has anyone considered Jill Scott? She has both the musicial and acting abilities.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  113. Carol

    With all due respect Aretha I think you are really reaching with the HB request.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  114. Kylez

    I thought aretha already hand picked fantasia a while ago. halle would not be a good choice.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  115. Lola

    Any female would be happy with the gorgeous and talented HB playing her in a biopic! I'm white, and I'd be thrilled if she played me. But she is just too thin and delicate (Monster's Ball taken into account) to play the curvy and boisterous Aretha. She is a different "type" entirely. I agree with those who suggest jennifer Hudson. There is even a tiny resemblance there, if you look at Aretha's early photos.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  116. renaldo

    They really should get a singer to play the part i think. Fantasia would do a good job. There are lots of good R&B singers out there who would do a great job. They could even do an Am Idol type audition and give an unknown a chance. That would reall be great.l

    January 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  117. Shanae

    1. Jennifer Hudson
    2. Faith Evans
    3. Kelly Price

    I would say Jennifer Hudson, Because of Vocals. If Fantasia' voice wasn't so squeaky I would say her too, but it's too big of a vocal differents.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kent

      Kelly Price! Why didn't I think of that. Much better vocally than Jennifer Hudson and she's the right size.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  118. 911 STEVE

    I would love to see Jennifer Hudson put out a cd of classics like she sings in her diet commercial. What golden pipes!!!!!!

    January 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  119. michele

    Jennifer Hudson definitely, but she would have to put some pounds back on.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  120. zeke

    1jennifer hudson
    3.Janet jackson

    January 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  121. Pete7630

    What about John Malkovitch ?

    January 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  122. Juicy

    I pick monique.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  123. John Que 3000

    Whatever role Halle Berry plays it is always a joy to watch.
    As a matter of fact I can't remember if she has ever done any dialog.
    I think I heard her say something once, but I can't remember. once Halle fills the screen everything else sounds like an adult talking in a Charlie Brown special, and i get tunnel vision. To this day I can;t remember who else played in the movie Sword Fish.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  124. Cico

    My pick would be Jennifer Hudson because of her soulful voice and her body would be a closer match to Aretha's than Halle's

    January 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  125. sunless

    get to this http://www.supersonic.us.com

    January 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  126. Ben wade

    How about Monique? Or Queen latifah?

    January 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • tmichelle72

      Yeah Queen would be good. Excellent choice. She's the right fit for size, voice quality and she can act! You missed your calling casting director Ben Wade!

      January 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Queen Latifah would be an amazing choice

      January 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kent

      Latifah is the right size and could possibly be made to resemble Aretha, but she's not even close in terms of singing ability.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • JackieInDallas

      If it were about her today, sure, that would be more appropriate. However, I believe the picture is set in the 60s, when the Queen of Soul was a lot more svelte than she is now. I've seen Halle gain weight, and go ugly, for a good role, so calling her too vain to do so for this is a bit petty.

      Besides, who WOULDN'T want someone with Halle's class playing them? You're just jealous that you haven't done anything worth making into a movie!

      January 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • camstuf

      Queen Latifah is a good choice, she can act and she can sing...check out her Discography on Wikipedia.

      January 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • kennedy

      Yes I thought of them as well as Jennifer Hudson. Halley Berry is beautiful but the others would do the role better msybe even Mary J Blige. Or one of the Wineans.

      January 19, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  127. Porchiaknows

    Halle is TOO skinny to play Aretha and I think her vanity would prevent her from gaining a few pounds.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • susan

      that was my first thought – she'd have to gain a few curves

      January 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark in nyc

      halle berry? why not have nicole kidman or lucy liu. wouldn't be any more ridiculous.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      I think Professor Klump would be a good fit, as far as physical appearance match

      January 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      A few?!?! More like about 150+!

      January 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kent

      Too slender and way too beautiful.

      No good candidates in terms of singers–they should just overdub Aretha's voice on the soundtrack. Beyonce, as well as Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia (and the rest of the karaoke contest winners they call "American Idols") can't hold a candle to the Queen Of Soul when it comes to singing.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • JackieInDallas

      Perhaps you should go back and look at the pictures of Aretha in the 60s before you make a total fool of yourself. While she was curvy, she certainly was svelte enough! Many of us have gained weight as we've gotten older. And I believe the movie is about 1967, the year Aretha had 7 (I think) top 40 hits, and won 2 Grammies, so not hiring someone heavier would be appropriate.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kent


      Yes, Aretha was slimmer back in the day than she is now, but she never, ever resembled Halle Berry facially or physically.

      January 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jarvy_J

      I think some of u are too hung up on Aretha's size now. She hasn't always been that big. I am, however against Halle Berry playing the part because, like she stated, she can't sing. I think it should be someone who can sing and act such as Jennifer Hudson or even Fantasia.

      Oh...and I think the comment someone made about Gabi Sidibe (Precious) playing her was ridiculous and ignorant. Why her? Because she's just about the same size as present-day Aretha? That was a dumb comment.

      January 19, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  128. Heylo

    I think Beyonce of Jennifer Hudson would be a great fit!

    January 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      How would Beyonce possibly be a good fit?

      January 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • JackieInDallas

      Beyonce does not in any way, shape or form resemble Aretha, and does not really have the acting chops. I heard Halle on the red carpet...when Brian Seacrest suggested having her voice dubbed, she paused and said THAT she would consider. I think it shows remarkable grace on Halle's part to consider the end result like that.

      I agree Jennifer Hudson could probably do the vocals, no problem. But remembering Aretha when she (and I) were much younger, I think she's quite correct to think that Halle might be the better choice. Many of you are too young to remember Aretha in the 60s, but she was something special!

      January 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  129. kia

    maybe mary j blige, kerry washington (if she can sing), or jennifer hudson (this is my number one pick).

    January 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  130. N/A

    I think that Jennifer Hudson would be a better fit when you are talking about someone with a great set of pipes for singing.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • susan

      totally agree...maybe ms. franklin thinks halle resembles her more?

      January 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • bookenz

      Total agree about Jennifer Hudson. Halle Berry is just too glamorous.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • apjuno

      what about Fantasia

      January 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • apjuno

      what about Fantasia Fantasia has the voice and what a voice it is. and she can act

      January 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      She is a bit well.. skinny for the part. How about the young woman from precious.

      January 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joy

      I think Jennifer Hudson would be great. Lakisha Jones (a recent American Idol contestant) could also pull off the singing (don't know if she can act).

      January 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ebbon

      the only one for that roll who should be considered is Jennifer Hudson........

      January 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fawn

      I'm with V. Gin Jennifer Hudson (with some pading) would be a great Aretha!!

      January 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • RICK

      Let's face it, nobody, and I mean nobody, has the chops to sing the part. I love it when Idol contestants introduce themselves as the next Aretha, or "I sound like Aretha." You know you have a real joke at that point. Get a great actress who is believable as the (non-singing) Aretha and let her lip-sink to the original. Anything else would be a farce.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      How about the girl on Glee...not Rachel.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ed

      Jennifer Hudson is not an actress, much better to leave great actresses like Halle to do the job even if she doesn't sing well.

      January 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      Hey, Ed. Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for "Dream Girls."

      January 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clara

      I agree fully. Jennifer Hudson all the way. Her voice is awesom, and the look with make-up would be phemonial.


      January 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel Elliott

      Jennifer Hudson hands down should be picked to play the Queen of Soul. Check out the song she did at the Aretha Franklin tributute on YouTube. Amazing.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • O

      "Jennifer Hudson is not an actress." lmao! Guess you don't have to be an actress to win an Oscar for BEST supporting actress. HA!

      January 19, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • kennedy

      I was just thinking the same person. Jennifer Hudson would fill the shoes better than Halley Berry.

      January 19, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Nicolei Indy

      Halle Berry is gorgeous and she was great in her role as Dorothy Dandridge – there's no question about that! However, this is the QUEEN OF SOUL we are talking about here people!! Halle's "brand" is devoid of SOUL. She has no "soul chemistry" for audience's to relate with. She herself acknowledges she can't hold a tune. How ironic and absurd is it that the QUEEN OF SOUL is played by an actor that can't sing?? Her acting works for a lot of different basic movie themes. However, for the most part, her acting is uninspiring, and quite frankly very "sterile." I have nothing against Halle at all – I love her, and I'm actually looking forward to seeing that movie she is filming off the coast of South Africa. But when it comes to THIS ROLE, The Queen of Soul, I personally don't want to see an actor that merely "works" for this role? They should be looking for the actor who is "right" for this role!

      January 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |

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