The “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” talks to ELLE about her new career ventures.
Mary J. Blige has given us more than a few anthems over her career, but after 10 albums, 28 Grammy nominations (nine wins), her own perfumes and sunglasses line she’s up for a new task: taking on Hollywood...through acting.
Though it seems to be a trend, singers-turned-actors, Mary knows that it’ll take hard work and practice to be an actress who is respected. “I don’t want to be the singer that just got the part,” she told ELLE magazine. “I want to earn it.”
While she’s dreamed of being an actress since she was in grade school, so far the singer has only made small film appearances and lent her voice and writing skills to movie soundtracks, but she’s currently working on two films that could help cement a career for her on the big screen. There’s next summer’s Rock of Ages — based on the Broadway musical — in which she plays club owner “Justice Charlier” (Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin star) and this fall she’ll take on the enormous task of playing Nina Simone in a biopic.
ELLE calls Blige’s role as Simone “the true test of her big-screen skills" and it will be a test indeed, as Mary confessed she had very little idea who the late, iconic singer even was. Now she says, “I learned that she was a woman on the search for love, as well. You know, looking for love, standing up for her rights, and not being understood.”
(Photo: Elle Magazine, November 2011)