Disney's 1997 musical remake of Cinderella is finally hitting Disney+ on Friday, inspiring Brandy to share some intimate stories about working with Whitney Houston. The film was based on the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical of the classic fairy tale and was groundbreaking for featuring a diverse cast. Brandy played the title character, while Houston starred as her Fairy Godmother. Bernadette Peters, Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, Paolo Montalban and Veanne Cox also starred in the film.
On Thursday, Brandy, 42, joined other members of the cast for a virtual reunion for Entertainment Weekly. "It was a game-changer like it was just so different, and it just gave everyone an opportunity to just play these iconic characters, and see it in a different way. It was just so magical," Brandy said. Goldberg said much of the "heart and soul" of the film came from Houston, who died in 2012 at age 48.
During production, Brandy developed a "beautiful relationship" with Houston, she said, according to E! News. Houston "adored me and took me under her wing," she said. Houston brought "sunshine" to the film. Brandy called the day they filmed their duet "one of the best days of my life... to be in the studio singing with my idol, my angel." Brandy added, "[Whitney] had a magic about her that I felt like I could just be myself. When you're working with your idols, you don't know how to act, but she made me feel safe to be myself and really give the character all I could give."
In another interview with Vulture, Brandy said Houston encouraged her to be herself and gave her some advice that she still remembers to this day. "Her being a legend and having been through so much in life and experiences in this industry, she wanted me to stay on the path of being who I am and true to myself," Brandy explained. "That was what she preached all the time to me up until she passed away. So I keep that and I try to live by that every day. That’s what I teach my daughter as well."
Although Cinderella has been unavailable to stream until now, the film's fans have never forgotten it. The special was an instant success when it aired and helped solidify Brandy's star status. Brandy announced the special will finally be posted on Disney+ on The View earlier this month. She also told Vulture she has heard "talks" about the film's soundtrack finally being released.