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January 21, 2011  | by: Dania McDermott

Aretha Franklin, circa 1960

True to diva form, Aretha Franklin won’t allow just anyone to be in the upcoming biopic about her life. Soliciting Hollywood’s Black elite, the accomplished songstress has been anything but mum on her desire for a cast fit for a Queen…of Soul.

In her zeal for the perfect ensemble, Franklin is lobbying the talents of big names like Denzel Washington, Blair Underwood,  Nia Long and Terrance Howard. And for the title role of Ms. Franklin herself? On a recent phone-in to The Wendy Williams Show, the singer declared, “Halle Berry is my pick.”

She’s not kidding. After trying for several years to get the film afloat, Franklin issued a press release last September revealing her Hollywood “wish list,” Berry receiving top priority.

Halle Berry as Aretha Franklin?

But if the unabashed Queen of Soul thinks it’s going to be an easy sell, those pesky health issues may be affecting her brain. Berry, who’s already become the first (and only) Black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Monsters Ball, simply isn’t interested.

“If I could carry a tune, I’d consider it,” Berry offered E! News this week. Has she forgotten that actors often lip-sync, just as she did for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and Why Do Fools Fall in Love?

We’re sorry, Halle, but you’d be better off coming up with some other euphemistic reason why you won’t do it – like “I just lost all my baby weight, and…” We’ll fill in the blanks.

If that doesn’t work, Berry can always direct Aretha the Diva to Jennifer Hudson or Fantasia Barrino, the other two women she was considering in 2007, before “deciding” on Berry:

“I’m still observing them and their projects.  I’ve watched Dreamgirls a couple of times lately, and I’m still just trying to arrive at the right decision.”

Aretha Franklin Overlooks Jennifer Hudson

Wait – after watching Hudson’s Oscar-winning tour de force in Dreamgirls, she still concluded that Halle Berry was the most appropriate choice? It seems as though Ms. Franklin’s casting criteria centers heavily on two things: star power and universally accepted beauty – and all this time we thought she was the Queen of Soul.

So what does chosen one Halle Berry make of all this? In an effort to make better her polite but somewhat ridiculous reason for declining the part, she added, ”Someone should tell Aretha that I can’t do her justice.” She’s right. Someone should also tell Aretha that we can’t always get what we want – not even those of us fortunate enough to be Queen.

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