*We recently marked the 24th anniversary of the “What’s Love Got to Do with It” film starring Angela Bassett as Tina Turner and Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner.
Directed by Brian Gibson and loosely based on the life of Tina Turner, the biopic was released by Touchstone Pictures in 1993, and grossed almost $40 million domestically. It wasn’t a “ginormous” commercial success by today’s standards, but the film earned both Bassett and Fishburne Oscar nominations (neither won).
Shadow and Act has published 9 interesting facts about the film, one of which being the number of black actresses who wanted to play Tina, including Halle Berry, Robin Givens, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson and Vanessa L. Williams.
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Check out 8 more trivia facts about the film that you may or may not know about:
– Turner herself refused to be fully involved in the making of the film, saying publicly, “Why would I want to see Ike Turner beat me up again? I haven’t dwelt on it; it’s all in the past where it belongs.” Although she did help Angela Bassett with her transformation into Tina Turner.
– Laurence Fishburne turned down the role of Ike Turner several times; and it was only until he learned that Angela Bassett was going to play Tina Turner, that he changed his mind.
– The late Charlie Murphy reportedly also auditioned for the role of Ike Turner.
– Jenifer Lewis originally auditioned to play Tina Turner, but ended up playing Tina’s mother in the film, even though she’s only two years older than Angela Bassett, who played Tina.
– Angela Bassett was injured while filming the first spousal abuse sequence. She is said to have fallen off the back of a sofa, put her hands out to reduce the impact, and suffered a fracture on her right hand. Needless to say, she only did that stunt fall once.
– Vanessa Bell Calloway, who plays Jackie, the friend and former Ikette who shares Buddhism with Tina, was wary of chanting Buddhist words because of her strong Christian faith. Director Brian Gibson is said to have instead instructed her to mouth the words silently during taping, and then he added the words with a voice double in post-production.
– While Angela Bassett didn’t actually sing Tina Turner’s songs, Laurence Fishburne sang Ike Turner’s parts.
– Ike Turner said that certain scenes of abuse depicted in the film didn’t happen, as revealed in his own autobiography “Taking Back My Name.” Specifically, the scene where he beats and rapes Tina in their home studio, and the scene where he confronts her backstage with a handgun. But as noted earlier, the film is loosely based on Tina Turner’s autobiography, meaning certain parts of it (several actually) were “fictionalized for dramatic purposes.”
Here’s the “What’s Love Got to Do With It” trailer, just in case you’re not hip to this classic.