Actress Demetria McKinney Reveals Emotional Toll Taking on Whitney Houston Role

(Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)Whitney Houston performs "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, November 22, 2009.

Demetria McKinney, the actress who portrayed the late legendary singer Whitney Houston in the "Bobbi Kristina" biopic that aired on TV One Saturday, said the role took an emotional toll on her.

McKinney admitted that playing Houston was the most iconic role that she's had to date. The biopic centers around Bobbi Kristina Brown, Houston's daughter with R&B star Bobby Brown, who was 22 when she died in 2015.

McKinney said she had trouble sleeping as she thought about the grief Bobbi Kristina felt over her mother's death.

"A couple weeks into filming I woke up at 4 o'clock in the morning bawling. [I] couldn't stop," McKinney told ABC radio, WJBD reports. " I could not get her off of me."

McKinney also spoke about Houston's faith and the responsibility she felt in taking on the role.

"There's something to be said for such a spiritual person. Such a faith-based person and somebody who has left such a mark on so many different people," she said. "I think that's when the responsibility kind of settled on me. The responsibility hit kinda hard."

Although Houston's life ended after a lengthy battle with drug addiction, her Christian faith had always been a vital part of her career. In 1997, Houston was awarded with the "Outstanding Mainstream Contribution to Gospel Music" honor given by the Gospel Music Association.

Houston's close friends and family spoke about her love for the Lord, including one of her closest friends, gospel singer Kim Burrell. And Pastor Shirley Caesar recalled the time when Houston spoke in tongues at Burrell's Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston, Texas.

"Kim said that the power of God fell on Whitney Houston and she ran all around the church, and then she fell out on the floor and just began to speak in tongues," Caesar explained after Houston's untimely death in 2012. "For about 30 minutes (she was) lying there and praising the Lord. This girl knew that Jesus loved her."