See Naomi Ackie Become Whitney Houston in

Naomi Ackie says she was "very" nervous about playing the "incredible, multifaceted" Whitney Houston.

She tells PEOPLE, "She's been so important in my life for so long that it sometimes felt like an impossible goal to reach." But a lot of people told me the same thing:

if I wasn't scared and nervous, they'd think something was wrong with me. The hardest thing for me was getting over my fear of how big this task was.

Sitting in fear for too long doesn't lead to anything good." In the upcoming biopic I Want to Dance with Somebody, Ackie, who is 30 years old, plays the late singer.

People has a first look and trailer for the movie before it comes out in theatres on December 21.

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I Wanna Dance with Somebody was written by Anthony McCarten, who also wrote the 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody about Freddie Mercury