Cinderella's Billy Porter Says He Dreamed of Being 'the Male Whitney Houston' When He Was 14
The Emmy-winning actor tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, on stands, that playing the fairy godmother in the Amazon Prime Video movie, now streaming, is a dream come true.
"When I was 14, my dream was to be the male Whitney Houston," Porter, 51, says of Houston's iconic turn as the fairy godmother in the 1997 Cinderella version that also starred Brandy.
While he dreamed of following in Houston's footsteps, Porter also wanted to put his own spin on the character.
"I have been in the business long enough that I don't make comparisons," he says. "I'm not trying to do something that somebody else did before. I was thinking, 'It's my turn. What can I bring?'"
In the Kay Cannon-directed film, Porter's Fab G aids Cabello's Cinderella in achieving her dreams of owning her own fashion brand—all the while helping her fall in love.
Listen to more of PEOPLE's interview with Billy Porter below on our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.
"Magic has no gender," he says of playing a traditionally female character. "That is the most important for me."
Porter adds that the importance of breaking gender norms lies in how it affects young audiences.
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"To see an energy reflected back at yourself at this young age—at any age—is impressionable and life changing," says Porter. "Our children need to know we're here and we got you."
The film also stars Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine and Pierce Brosnan.
Cinderella is now streaming on Prime Video.
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