Celebrity Interview - Director Kevin Macdonald, Executive Producer Pat Houston talk on Whitney

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Whitney, the candid documentary on the life of superstar Whitney Houston, recently had its media day with Director Kevin Macdonald and Executive Producer Pat Houston in attendance fielding questions on the film, the memories and the revelations.

Having the opportunity to participate along with the room of global media, the questions and comments ranged from personal reflections of encounter's with the star, the shocking revelations of sexual violence, to the demise and the life.

As it has been just over six years since Whitney's untimely death, creating a documentary that included all the residual tragedies seemed to add fuel to the flames of the gossip and rumor mills, how was it decided that now was the right time?

"The documentary idea had always been in the works, Ms. Pat Houston, Whitney Executive Producer and Sister-in-Law of the late singer, explained. "Whitney herself," she continued, "back in 1999 began, started to do a documentary, started to form it, so I knew that she wanted to do a documentary so that was the reason for the continuation and it was just doing it with the right people."

Whitney Review - Beautiful, Sentimental and Heartbreakingly Honest

Director Kevin Macdonald, added, "I met with Pat in January 2016. Just after Sundance. And we met here in LA and that was the first conversation we had had. There had been many conversation prior to that with producers. I think Lisa [Erspamer, Whitney producer] was one who suggested speaking to me about it."

As much as the documentary celebrates Whitney's life and career, it doesn't sugarcoat her demise either. As her slow decline became a tabloid horror show, with photos of squalor and drug paraphernalia, emaciated, skeletal thin, and her voice, off key, cracking under the pressure of use and drug use.

JW: Who made the decisions as far as the demise elements to include? The mention of a sexual assault as a child, or some mention of that, and the mentions of drug use and everything that was gathered. Who made those decisions on those issues?

KM: I have to take blame for that. I made the decisions. Ultimately it was my decision in cooperation with Pat and the producers. The person in question [the predator] passed away ten years ago so perhaps that should have been made in clear in the film. 

Boundaries Review - Strong Character Driven Performances Create Indie Gold

JW: Was the experience of making the film different than you thought it would be and if so, how?

PH: The experience was different because of Gary and Michael, I would say, in my opinion. I felt very good that they were speaking up. They had to shield their sister for three decades to the world and their mother. And had to share her for a very long time with other folk. And have had to protect the image of an icon for many, many, many years. And she's no longer here and the family's has had to deal with that since her passing. And for them to be told to open up, just speak about themselves, to speak their truth, as it relates to her. It was good for them.

Like Kevin has been saying in some of these interviews, letting steam off is very therapeutic for them. Like taking a lid off the pressure cooker in these interviews. So for us, it's a good time, a good feeling. Although revelations were made, you know, it's okay. Like I always say, it's nothing in comparison to her not being here.

KM: I think it's worth saying from my point of view and the whole productions point of view, It was a very healthy production. Sometimes difficult and sometimes challenging in getting ahold of people, getting the footage, and getting what we needed. And there was another aim. The feeling between the estate and the production has very much been one of collaboration.

From my specific point of view I started off making this, really for the purpose of trying to make a honest film about Whitney, with access to those who really knew her, so that a timeless, seamless film, hopefully one that would not so much lead to prying and gossip about her, and then after we can turn to her the music and say that's what's left. Stop the conspiracy theories and gossip and turn to what is going to survive of her and that's the music.

Other Whitney projects were talked about as Bobby Brown, Whitney's husband of fourteen years is also making a documentary and some type of book project by her former childhood friend and personal assistant Robyn Crawford.

As there remains so much extra footage, and other areas which could have been fuller, Ms. Houston joked about a four part Netflix series, which seemed for career of a global superstar, singer, actress, friend, sister, daughter, that spanned three decades a natural fit.

Whitney opens in theaters everywhere July 6, 2018. See it.

Haute Tease

  • Columbia Rape Accuser Continues Protest Project

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Columbia University rape accuser Emma Sulkowicz, determined to have her accused rapist suspended from the Ivy league University maintained her vigil of protest, and carried a mattress the symbol of the weight and burden rape victims carry daily to the 2015 Class Day Ceremonies.

  • Have a Very “Cabo-Riffic” Holiday Season: Thanksgiving in The Tropics, A Sunny Christmas Celebration, an Exclusive New Year’s Party

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Set a new family tradition of carving your turkey or exchanging gifts on the beach with a well-deserved holiday season getaway at Capella Pedregal in sunny Cabo San Lucas.

  • Marco Polo Review – Intoxicating, Passionate, An Epic Masterpiece

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Marco Polo," the newest miniseries produced by The Weinstein Company and Netflix debuts in its entirety, immediately captures and seduces with the ancient lands of China, the Kublai Khan dynasty its imagery, mystery, exotic arts and allure.

  • The Newspaperman: The Life And Times Of Ben Bradlee Review - Intimate, Honest, Revealing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Newspaperman: The Life And Times Of Ben Bradlee, from HBO and Kunhardt Films, presents Ben Bradlee, a trusted friend and confident of President John F. Kennedy, in his time the most feared editor of Washington Post, and an admitted womanizer.

  • iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia now shipping

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    August 5, 2014 - IK Multimedia, the global technology leader in mobile apps and accessories, today announced it's shipping iRig® Mic HD, the first mobile digital microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC. The sequel to IK's popular iRig Mic, iRig Mic HD is the perfect tool for singers, podcasters, online radio broadcasters, journalists, videographers, home studio enthusiasts and anyone else who needs to record high-definition digital audio on the go.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Orlando/Filibuster; Belgium-Paris Terror; Stanford Rape Judge; Okinawa; Bob Iger

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and Vice President Biden joined families in Orlando, one week after the Pulse massacre, the worst shooting on U.S. soil, to offer condolences, encouragement and solidarity in the fight for renewed gun control measures and to end hatred.

  • Savoir Faire Feu De Tout Bois

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    La crise diplomatique entre la France et le Brésil est l'opportunité pour Emmanuel Macron de redorer son image de défenseur de l'environnement sur un sujet des plus contestés : le traité de libre-échange avec les pays du Mercosur.  

  • A Star Is Born Review – Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Shine In this Modernized Remake

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Star is Born, from Warner Bros Pictures and Live Nation Entertainment, brings to the screen an unlikely story of love as mega rock star on a bender meets singer with the golden pipes in a drag bar.

  • World News: Netanyahu Fails to Form Israeli Coalition Government: What’s Next? Possible “Free-for-all!”

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With his 28-day mandate about to expire, Prime Minister Netanyahu has given up his mandate to form Israel's next coalition government. The mandate is now in the hands of his left-of-center opponent Benny Gantz.

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron Set to Exit Wednesday; Theresa May Wins by Default

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button


    British Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation after the British people voted to leave the European Union, a decision that is contrary to his political position, is set to officially leave his post Wednesday, July 13, 2017.

  • Beltway Insider: Airstrikes Begin in Iraq/Syria; Scots Vote; WH Tackles Sexual Violence, Ebola

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama addressed two global epidemics this week as he traveled to the Center for Disease Control to implement Ebola prevention and announced a second initiative in the anti sexual violence campaign initiated under his leadership.

  • Health: The Most Popular Holidays to Conceive

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As absentminded as you may be, one holiday you’ll always remember is your birthday. On the other hand, the date of your conception is probably the one day you try desperately to forget.  

  • The Lost City of Z Review - Brilliant, Four Stars, An Epic Masterpiece

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Lost City of Z, from Amazon Studios, Bleecker Street Media, and Plan B Productions, presents the true story of the British explorer Colonel Percival Fawcett and his addiction to Amazonian exploration, that holds him captive, enchants him, and ultimately destroys him.

  • The Ultimate Multimedia Tablet with an Improved, Intuitive Interface and Faster Web Browsing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ematic, a leader in value tablets, announced today the release of the eGlide XL Pro 2, its latest feature-packed, 10” Android-powered tablet

  • Beltway Insider: Ebola Dominates Divides Democrats, Strategy Ignites; Ebola Nurse Home; Klain Begins

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama faced another intense week with every action, or lack thereof, scrutinized as the United States has its second confirmed case of Ebola carried by a medical professional arriving from West Africa through an allegedly secured transportation hub.