Lady Gaga is reportedly playing Cilla Black in an upcoming film based on the life of Dionne Warwick, it has been revealed. Dionne herself stopped by the Cannes Film Festival on Friday to announce the news of the biopic, based on her 2012 autobiography, My Life, As I See It, and shared details of the casting.
Former Destiny's Child singer LeToya Luckett will star as Dionne, while Danny Glover will portray her father. Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis, 84, will play Marlene Dietrich, who mentored the singer, earning her the nickname 'Momma'.
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Lady Gaga will play Cilla Black in an upcoming Dionne Warwick biopic
Speaking about LeToya's casting, 75-year-old Dionne told Cannes reporters: "She is perfect and she has exactly the right look. She will bring out what is needed for this part." LeToya was an original member of Destiny's Child, appearing on the band's first two albums, but she left in 1999.
The biopic will centre on Dionne's early years in the business, from 1962 to 1968, and will focus on her rivalry with Cilla, who passed away in 2015 aged 72.The British singer was Dionne's "nemesis" for many years, after her version of Anyone Who Had A Heart eclipsed Dionne's original.
"She stole my music, and I was not a very happy camper about that," Dionne said of Cilla at Friday’s press conference. "Over the years, we grew up and understood each other. It all got cleared away."
Dionne insisted that Cilla will not be treated as the "villainess"
Dionne firmly stressed, however, that Cilla will not be treated as a "villainess in the picture".
Asked why Lady Gaga had been chosen to portray the English star, Dionne said, "Why not?"; before adding: "It was just an easy choice and she wanted to do it."
However, Lady Gaga has spoken out to confirm that she would not be taking the role of Cilla Black. Her publicist released a statement which read: "Lady Gaga is not attached and will not appear in the project. Reports of Gaga appearing in this project are false."
Despite this statement, Dionne has insisted that the singer will in fact be involved, and that the denial is all a misunderstanding. She told Variety: "Actually, it's just a little glitch. It will be corrected very soon, and everybody who retracted will have to retract again".
Dionne is one of the most successful singers of all time, best known for hits such as I Say a Little Prayer and Do You Know the Way to San Jose?.