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Exclusive: Five Things To Know Before Watching ‘Aaliyah: The Princess Of R&B’

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4. Before the film’s production, Zendaya Coleman was initially set to portray the late singer. But the 18-year-old pulled out because she felt the role just wasn’t right for her. Alexandra was later added to the cast and according to the star, the controversy following the film didn’t bother her one bit. “Any woman of color who is trying to break into this industry would understand why we would love to take on a role like this. Not only is she an icon but she is a female Black lead, and that’s damn near impossible to find in Los Angeles right now.”

Shipp also revealed that she spoke with Zendaya after accepting the role. “We were like ‘man it’s just silly.’ Controversy is just silly because at the end of the day we didn’t know what people expected us to do or say about it because we are actors, we are workers,” Shipp explained. “We giggled about it.”

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