R. Kelly auditioned for ‘The Five Heartbeats,’ Robert Townsend says
“The Parent ‘Hood” creator Robert Townsend — whose 2018 documentary “Making The Five Heartbeats” is streaming on UMC TV — told Page Six that the doc reveals that former Style Network star Niecy Nash and scandalous singer R. Kelly auditioned for his 1991 musical film “The Five Heartbeats” in an open casting call.
“Keenan Ivory Wayans and I rewrote that script like 30 times, and what you will see is Niecy Nash on line at the open call audition,” Townsend said. “She was just a baby. Now she’s a Hollywood icon. R. Kelly is on line to audition at the Regal Theatre in Chicago,” he told us.
“He comes to me and he’s like, ‘Mr. Townsend I’m trying to be a songwriter for the movie’ … He did play some music for me.”
The doc follows the making of the movie in which co-writer Wayans was going to co-star, but Townsend said his role went to Leon Robinson. “I saw Leon in the Madonna video ‘Like A Prayer,’ playing the Jesus figure and when I met him I thought he had a cool vibe to him. I thought he would be perfect for the role.”
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