A fan holds a sign in memory of actress and R & B singer Aaliyah during TRL outside of the MTV studios in New York City. 8/28/01 Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images
Missy Elliott and Timbaland are veteran rappers, but for Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic, they’ll both be played by actors who are new to the game.

In “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B,” Chattrisse Dolabaille will take on the role of the “Work It” rapper, with Izaak Smith snagging the part of Timbaland, according to “The Wrap.”

Of the two, Smith is more recognizable, having parlayed a stint on “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” into small roles in Canadian shows like “Lost Girl,” Continuum” and “The Listener.

Since Missy and Timbaland were the late singer’s mentors, it’s only fitting that they’d have a role in Lifetime’s biopic.

But there’s already been a bit of a backlash from fans of the stars over the decision to cast unknown actors in the parts.

Chattrisse, who tweeted that she’ll be on set in a week, seemingly attempted to calm the haters by quoting the Bible: “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? – Matthew 6:27.”

As for the role of Aaliyan, Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp took over the part after Zendaya exited the project.

What do you think of the casting? Sound off in the comments!

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