Why Lela Rochon Would Never Do a Waiting to Exhale Sequel
Season 5 Episode 523
Aired on 04/23/2016
Actress Lela Rochon is best known for playing Robin Stokes in the 1995 romantic drama Waiting to Exhale. Based on a 1992 Terry McMillan novel, the movie follows four friends, played by Lela, Loretta Devine, Angela Bassett and Whitney Houston, as they "hold their breath" while they seek committed relationships.
A box-office hit that featured an all-African American cast, Exhale was on track to begin production on a sequel by 2012 when the fellow actresses got news of co-star Whitney Houston's passing. "The sequel didn't happen because Whitney passed away," Lela says on Oprah: Where Are They Now? "We were ready to go. Terry McMillan had finished the script, and the studio called and asked if we were all available to shoot in the summer, and they were unsure about Whitney."
Lela says the other actresses, however, weren't interested in doing the film without the beloved pop star. "Loretta, Devine and I said, 'We don't want anybody else. We want her.'" Here, Lela opens up about the "heartbreaking" phone call that changed everything.