Director Angela Bassett attends the Lifetime Network sponsored breakfast for Whitney during the 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, California.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The Whitney director says that she received a sign from the late Houston before filming on the biopic began.

Taylor Lewis
Jan, 15, 2015

It was a sign from Whitney herself.

Whitney director Angela Bassett appeared on Live! with Kelly and Michael this morning to talk about the Whitney Houston biopic, which premieres on Lifetime on Saturday. She had trepidation in the beginning, being tasked with the responsibility to tell the iconic singer's life, but a month before filming began, she received a transcendental push from Houston herself.

"I'm driving off the exit, and her song immediately comes on," Bassett recounted. "It comes on every day on the radio, but it comes on at the exit."

As she was contemplating the significance of this, she said that traffic slowed and a large bus passed her. The bus had "WH" printed in purple—Houston's favorite color.

"I just started crying," she said. "I'm glad I was at the exit because I couldn't see. I was laughing like, 'Okay girl, I hear you, I feel you. Thank you. I know it's going to be OK, and it's going to work out." 

That sign gave Bassett the reassurance and the strength she needed to direct the film, which was also her directorial debut. She said that she met with the producer before he had secured a director. Though she expressed interest, she doubted that she was qualified for the job. ("My resume was zero," she said.) She suggested a handful of other directors, including Selma director Ava DuVernay, but in the end, she was chosen to direct the highly anticipated biopic.

Be sure to check out the movie this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.