Bassett, who worked with the late singer on Waiting to Exhale, told E! News she wants viewers to go on the journey of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston.
"I just want them to go on the journey between Whitney and Bobby. I considered it a love story…I guess they had great business between them. They were there to love and care for one another, and it was quite a journey," she said.
Lifetime has brought a variety of real-life subjects to the screen recently with The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, The Brittany Murphy Story, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B and The Gabby Douglas Story. Whitney is just the latest. Bassett stepped behind the camera for this TV flick, directing America's Next Top Model veteran and Lee Daniels' The Butler actress Yaya DaCosta as the iconic singer and Arlen Escarpeta as Bobby Brown, and she said at the heart, it's a love story.
"I think we as fans, audience…those that looked on—we thought we had some say in it. We really didn't have any say in their love affair. The say we have is of ourselves and our capacity to love, to love ourselves, to love one another and to just spread more love and joy in this world," Bassett said. "But we really thought we had a say in their love affair…I think it's a magnificent journey and I hope it will be a reflection into our own lives."
Bassett said the factors that all people deal with: timing, life choices, "knowing someone's heart and past" all applied to Whitney and Bobby too. "Some you can handle and some you cannot. Some you have to work on more deeply, but it all starts with loving ourselves and that's who you bring to any relationship and hopefully it's the best you that you bring," she said. "I hope that it's a jumping off of some sort of contemplation or even conversation."
Whitney premieres Saturday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.