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Alexandra Shipp is bringing the story of Aaliyah to live in the highly anticipated/controversial Lifetime original movie, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.

The 23-year-old rising star stopped by theGrio this week to talk about her new film role and how she’s defied skeptics by portraying Aaliyah.

The role for Aaliyah was originally given to Disney star Zendaya Coleman, who pulled out of the project after receiving backlash from Aaliyah fans who complained the bi-racial star was too light-skinned to play the “Rock the Boat” singer.

Controversy surrounding the Aaliyah role, has caused Shipp anxiety as well. She says that she’s received so many insulting tweets that she’s had to stop using Twitter.

“I’ve pretty much stopped 100% of my tweeting right now. I’ve just kind of taken a back seat and allowed my team to take over, for the sole reason that I am human and will look at it.” Shipp says.

Shipp feels as though she’s been a victim of cyber-bullying, but she’s chose to ignore the haters.

“I’ve been bullied almost my entire life, so I understand how hard it is… I just try to steer clear.”

“In the beginning I was just like ‘delete and block, delete and block,’ but you can’t delete and block everything. We are gluttons for punishment, especially women,” Shipp says. “You want to know what people are thinking about you. So I’ve just kind of taken a back seat and will allow all of the press and stuff to die down. Once the movie is out in the world and the dust has settled, I’ll be able to do my own funny tweets again.”

Shipp, who will soon appear in the NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton, also weighed in on R.Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah, and discussed on the biopic handles it.

Be sure to catch Shipp in Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, Saturday at 8/7c on Lifetime.

Follow theGrio.com’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC.

 

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