It appears that the oft-delayed Nina Simone biopic film starring Mary J. Blige is finally on track to begin shooting. The project, which focuses on the jazz legend’s relationship with assistant Clifton Henderson, was first announced back in late 2005.
The movie stalled for years, even after the script had been penned by Will and Grace scribe Cynthia Mort. Last year, it was announced by the Hollywood Reporter that the film had been sold, financed and was to begin shooting in the fall.
The multi-platinum recording artist was asked about the movie's status and replied, “I'm definitely still doing it and I'm in acting classes for it now. We start shooting at the end of the month!”
This is not the only film on the singer’s plate. In addition to recording her album and prepping for her role as Nina Simone, Blige is starring in the film Rock of Ages alongside Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin. Blige said, “I'm playing Justice Charlier, a gentleman's club owner. I'm having so much fun preparing for it, and I know Tom. I love Tom. He just really wants the best for everybody.”
While discussing her charity work with her organization, FFAWN (Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now), Blige noted that her friend, Lady GaGa, wrote a “huge check” to benefit the organization.
(Photo: Donna Ward / Retna Ltd.)