Whitney is being billed as an "intimate, unflinching" look back on the triumphant life and tragic death of Whitney Houston, a definitive documentary about the singer and the first-ever authorized by her family -- many of whom speak openly about Whitney in the film. Whitney's ex-husband, Bobby Brown, appears in interviews and never-before-seen archival footage throughout, but reveals little about her drug use or the problems that led to the end of their marriage.
"He sits down and he won't go into any of the tougher parts of their life together?" ET's Kevin Frazier asked Pat Houston, Whitney's sister-in-law and former manager and a producer on the movie. "Why wouldn't he open up and talk in this documentary?"
"Maybe he was saving some for his film," Houston said. "Maybe he just -- you know, Bobby is Bobby."
The film Houston is referring to is actually a two-part miniseries for BET, The Bobby Brown Story, which stars Woody McClain as Bobby Brown (McClain previously portrayed him in The New Edition Story) and Gabrielle Dennis (Marvel's Luke Cage) as Whitney Houston, as well as Mekhi Phifer and Lil Rel. Brown is a producer.
While Whitney, now in theaters, contains many revelations about its subject -- including allegations that she was sexually abused as a child -- much of the documentary does focus on Whitney's family, including her tumultuous marriage to Brown and the demons their late daughter, Bobbi Kristina, faced.
"I spent a lot of time fighting for her. Trying to make sure she was OK, even in her parents darkest days," Houston explained in her sit-down with ET. "And I saw a kid struggling. No child should have to struggle."
Whitney was found unresponsive in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2012; her death ultimately ruled as an accidental drowning. She was 48 years old. Nearly three years later, Bobbi Kristina was also found in a bathtub and, after almost six months in a coma, died in 2015. It is, understandably, one of the toughest parts of director Kevin Macdonald's documentary for Houston to watch.
"It's always tough talking about Bobbi Kristina. She was only 22 years old when she died," she opened up. "Sometimes I have to be really cautious, because I feel like I'm coming out of my skin when I think about Bobbi Kristina. I do."
"Whitney Houston broke more music industry records than any other female singer in history. With over 200 million album sales worldwide, she was the only artist to chart seven consecutive U.S. No. 1 singles. She also starred in several blockbuster movies before her brilliant career gave way to erratic behavior, scandals and death at age 48. The documentary feature Whitney is an intimate, unflinching portrait of Houston and her family that probes beyond familiar tabloid headlines and sheds new light on the spellbinding trajectory of Houston’s life. Using never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive demo recordings, rare performances, audio archives and original interviews with the people who knew her best, Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald unravels the mystery behind “The Voice,” who thrilled millions even as she struggled to make peace with her own troubled past."