Image Courtesy of Lifetime NetworksAngela Bassett makes her directorial debut with the biopic Whitney, which focuses on the late Whitney Houston and her relationship with longtime husband, Bobby Brown. The film, which covers only a select portion of Houston’s life, shows the superstar not only falling in love with the New Edition singer, but also falling out of love with him.

The films also shows Whitney introducing cocaine to Bobby at her birthday party — a scene that may upset some die-hard fans. Bassett explains to ABC News Radio why she depicted the couple’s relationship in that way, despite the common perception that Brown introduced Houston to hard drugs.

“She was a grown woman and I think we do her detriment when we say that she was so weak-minded, this 24-year-old woman,” says Angela. “You meet a 19-year-old man and he is such a Svengali and a puppet master that he can make you do lines of cocaine? Just thinking about that, I find that hard to believe.”

Bassett does, however, understand the need for fans to have someone to blame. “It’s human nature to want to scapegoat and [have] someone to point the finger at, especially when there is such a loss…of such a beloved individual to your community, to your life, to your culture, to your soundtrack,” she says. “So you gotta have a bad guy, you gotta have a demon, you gotta have the devil, you gotta have something to say it wasn’t her fault. She didn’t make a choice. The choice was made for her by Bobby. And that’s a lie.”

Whitney’s drug use is only one part of the film, which largely celebrates the singer. It’s that fact that made Angela sign on to direct the movie.

“I thought that [the script] was something that I could work with. I thought it had good bones,” Bassett tells ABC News Radio. “You know, it starts on the page. So what they had written I thought had the potential to serve her legacy and her life well. It wasn’t a script that slung arrows or slung mud at her or brought her down, you know?”

Also, Bassett says that working with Whitney on the 1995 hit film Waiting to Exhale helped her prepare to depict the singer in the biopic. “I don’t feel as if I had to guess at the type of woman she was…in sort of regular down time or just being around, or professionally. I was able to observe that for myself,” notes Angela.

It’s not Whitney’s voice you’ll hear in the biopic. R&B singer Deborah Cox covers Houston’s classic songs, such as “The Greatest Love of All,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” “I’m Every Woman” and “I Will Always Love You.”

Bassett says there was never a question that they’d have to re-record those songs for the film. “Even if the family were, let’s say, ‘on board,’ the songs would’ve had to be recorded anyway. A lot of Whitney’s songs, if you look at them, they are seven-, eight-, nine-minute renditions,” she explains.

“You can’t use that, and I know that from doing What’s Love [Got to Do with It],” Angela says, referencing her starring role as Tina Turner in the hit 1993 biopic. “We had to redo those songs, all of those songs for whatever reasons. They were old recordings and scratchy or they’re new recordings and they’re just too long.”

Whitney premieres on Lifetime tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

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