If you been keeping score of the Aretha Franklin biopic info, you’re already aware that Ms. Franklin is on a serious hunt for the lead in her biopic that’s in the works. She originally named Halle Berry as her desired pick but, after Halle’s polite decline, has since moved on naming other prospects. Well this morning on the talk show The View, Ms. Franklin stated that Patina Miller is “in the running” and the script is nearing completion.
So who’s Patina Miller you ask? We’ll she plays the lead in the Whoopi Goldberg produced Broadway play Sister Act. Whoopi and Aretha lauded on her superior acting abilities. Whoopi told Backstage…”Patina sings like an angel and works like a devil. She’s fantastic.”
When the play originally premiered in London, critics said she owned the part with The Telegraph stating she had “funky, spunky stage presence and great comic timing.” The Times called her “the show’s great plus.”
The 26 year old is the only cast member from the London production to make the switch to New York and so has had to welcome all new actors, a new director, a tweaked script and new songs.
“I’m doing an entirely new show,” she says. “I know this character in and out, so no matter what changes in the show, I know my character’s journey. I know who she is because I’ve lived with her for three years now.”
A musical theater graduate from Carnegie Mellon University, Patina was an avid fan of the Sister Act films while growing up in Pageland, South Carolina. She and her siblings memorized both Sister Act movies. So when she got the chance to meet her childhood idol, Whoopi Goldberg, she says she was nervous and equally scared about replacing her on the stage.
However, Whoopi calmed her fears telling her “You’re not me. You have an opportunity to create a role for a new stage. Do it your way. It’s your moment. Own it.”
Based on the rave reviews of her performance, she may be “owning” Aretha’s story. Below is a little clip of Patina’s performance in Sister Act.