Janet Jackson


  1. Whitney Houston, The Bodyguard, 1991.      For the body he guarded, hot singer Rachel Marron, star-producer Kevin Costner ran through ten chanteuses.  From Madonna  and  Olivia Newton-John to Joan Jett and Dolly Parton.
  2. Angela Bassett, What’s Love Got To Do With It, 1992. Finalists for Tina Turner to choose from for her biopic were Bassett, Halle Berry, Robin Givens, Pam Grier,  Whitney Houston (a crazy idea, but pregnant), Janet Jackson (crazier),  Jennifer Lewis (who finished up playing Tina’s Mama) and Vanessa L Williams.    Tina  voted for Angela after seeing  her sing Proud Mary .  Even then, Angela submitted herself to intense work with dancing, dialect and physical training coaches. Tina sang the songs.  Of course. And Halle enacted Dorothy Dandridge’s life in 1998. [See #5].
  3. Regina King, Jerry Maguire, 1996.     The nearest Jackson got to being Cuba Gooding Jr’s wife, Marcee Tidwell, was having a poster for her Janetalbum hanging on the wall in Tee Pee’s room.  She lost out to her 1993 Poetic Justicco-star because King had that little bit extra. She was truly pregnant. 
  4. Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix, 1998.     The Wachowski siblings (then brothers Larry and Andy, now sisters Lana and Lilly) hunted their heroine, Trinity, through Jackson, Gillian Anderson, Sandra Bullock, Michelle Yeoh.
  5. Halle Berry, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, TV, 1999.     “Our Marilyn Monroe” is how Lena Horne called her… Jackson was among the many black actresses and singers (Jasmine Guy, Whitney Houston, Jayne Kennedy, Vanessa Williams) who cited Dorothy’s influence on them – and wanted to film her life. Berry beat them, all to the rights of the bio by Dandridge manager Earl Mills. In 1955, Dorothy was the first black nominated for a Best Actress Oscar; in 2002, Halle went one better than her idol, becoming the first black Best Actress Oscar-winner… and dedicated the moment to Dorothy, Lena Horne and Diahann Carroll. 
  6. Halle Berry, X-Men quartet, 1999-2013.   Angela Bassett, Janet Jackson and  Jada Pinkett Smith were up for the weather-manipulating Ororo Munroe/Storm…   leader of the X-Men when Cyclops is away. Bassett later played Amanda Waller in DC Comics’ Green Lantern, 2011, and Queen Ramonda in Marvel’s Black Panther, 2017.  Director Bryan Singer fell for Halle in the 1998 biopic,  Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.  Co-star Ian McKellen was Berry’s other big fan. “I never saw Halle in between movies, but we caught up each time as if we were brother and sister.
  7. Mariah Carey, Tennessee, 2007.  One singer for another…  Jackson won Krystal and was putting on the  role’s required weight  Carey didn’t need to.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  7