What Love Got to Do with It Cast: Exploring the Talented Actors in the Iconic Film

What Love Got to Do with It Cast: Exploring the Talented Actors in the Iconic Film


The film “What Love Got to Do with It” is an iconic biographical drama that tells the story of the legendary singer Tina Turner. Released in 1993, the movie gained critical acclaim for its powerful performances and compelling storyline. In this article, we will explore the talented cast of the film and their contributions to bringing the characters to life.

1. Angela Bassett as Tina Turner

Angela Bassett’s Stunning Portrayal of Tina Turner

Angela Bassett’s portrayal of Tina Turner in “What Love Got to Do with It” is nothing short of remarkable. Bassett’s ability to capture the energy, resilience, and vulnerability of the music icon earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Her fearless performance showcased the struggles and triumphs of Tina Turner’s life, making it one of Bassett’s most memorable roles.

2. Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner

Laurence Fishburne’s Complex Portrayal of Ike Turner

Laurence Fishburne’s portrayal of Ike Turner, Tina Turner’s abusive and controlling husband, is chilling and captivating. Fishburne effortlessly embodies the manipulative and volatile nature of the character, showcasing his incredible range as an actor. His performance in “What Love Got to Do with It” earned him critical acclaim and further solidified his status as one of Hollywood’s finest actors.

3. Jenifer Lewis as Zelma Bullock

Jenifer Lewis’s Memorable Performance as Zelma Bullock

Jenifer Lewis brings warmth and depth to the character of Zelma Bullock, Tina Turner’s mother, in “What Love Got to Do with It”. Lewis’s portrayal of a caring and supportive mother adds an emotional layer to the film, highlighting the importance of family and love in the face of adversity. Her performance is touching and resonates with audiences long after the credits roll.

4. Khandi Alexander as Darlene

Khandi Alexander’s Impactful Role as Darlene

Khandi Alexander’s portrayal of Darlene, Tina Turner’s best friend and backup singer, is both powerful and empowering. Alexander brings a vibrant energy to the character, showcasing the strength and resilience of female friendship. Her presence in “What Love Got to Do with It” adds depth to the narrative and highlights the significance of sisterhood in the face of adversity.

5. Phyllis Yvonne Stickney as Alline Bullock

Phyllis Yvonne Stickney’s Stellar Performance as Alline Bullock

Phyllis Yvonne Stickney delivers a compelling performance as Alline Bullock, Tina Turner’s older sister, in “What Love Got to Do with It”. Stickney’s portrayal of a conflicted and troubled character adds complexity to the film, showcasing the effects of a tumultuous childhood on the siblings’ lives. Her nuanced performance contributes to the emotional depth of the story.


A Stellar Cast Brings “What Love Got to Do with It” to Life

The talented cast of “What Love Got to Do with It” breathed life into the iconic characters and made the film a true masterpiece. Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Jenifer Lewis, Khandi Alexander, and Phyllis Yvonne Stickney delivered powerful and unforgettable performances that enhanced the narrative and resonated with audiences worldwide. Their contributions to the film solidify its status as a classic biographical drama.


1. Who played the role of Tina Turner in “What Love Got to Do with It”?

The role of Tina Turner was played by actress Angela Bassett.

2. Who portrayed the character of Ike Turner?

The character of Ike Turner was portrayed by actor Laurence Fishburne.

3. What other notable films have Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne appeared in together?

Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne have also appeared together in the films “Boyz n the Hood” and “Higher Learning”.

4. Did Angela Bassett receive any awards or nominations for her performance in this film?

Yes, Angela Bassett received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Tina Turner in “What Love Got to Do with It” and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

5. How did Angela Bassett prepare for her role as Tina Turner?

To prepare for her role, Angela Bassett studied Tina Turner extensively, learning her mannerisms, studying her performances, and even working with a vocal coach to mimic Tina Turner’s singing voice.

6. What challenges did Laurence Fishburne face while playing Ike Turner?

One of the challenges Laurence Fishburne faced while playing Ike Turner was portraying a character who was abusive and controlling. He had to tap into the mentality and emotions of such a complex and troubling individual.

7. Did Angela Bassett do her own singing in the film?

No, Angela Bassett did not do her own singing in the film. The singing parts were performed by Tina Turner herself, while Bassett focused on capturing the essence of Turner’s stage presence and movements.

8. Were the actors involved in any training or preparation to accurately portray the characters?

Yes, both Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne underwent extensive training and preparation to accurately portray their respective characters. They worked with vocal coaches, studied their characters’ real-life counterparts, and practiced their performances together.

9. Who directed “What Love Got to Do with It”?

The film was directed by Brian Gibson.

10. What impact did “What Love Got to Do with It” have on the portrayal of domestic abuse on screen?

“What Love Got to Do with It” was praised for its raw and honest portrayal of domestic abuse, shedding light on a sensitive issue. It helped bring awareness to the issue and sparked discussions about domestic violence and its effects.