R&B icon Mary J. Blige sat down for an interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on March 29 to talk about some of her most significant career accomplishments, her newly released children’s book “Mary Can!”, and something new that she was looking forward to playing in the future.
During the interview, after acknowledging her role reprisal as Monet Tejada in Power Book II: Ghost, she admitted to Colbert that she’d like to play another queen of soul Nina Simone in a biopic.
The 52-year-old singer said, “I always wanted to play Nina Simone. I want to learn how to play the piano,” she continued. “I love her songs. They are very dark and moody, and I can always find a place for that. So yeah, I definitely want to play Nina Simone.”
Later in the conversation, she continued to open up about the significance of the nationally recognized 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop. Blige said, “I think it’s been amazing because Hip Hop has given our culture a voice,” The Grammy award-winning singer added, “It’s given everybody a voice and a place to speak their truth to. From JAY-Z to Nas to Biggie, they’re all speaking their truth through music, from Rakim to KRS-One to LL Cool J.”
“Everybody is speaking what they’ve lived and what they’ve done through their music, and it’s given them some sort of therapy, and that’s what Hip Hop has done, and I hope it continues to do that and I hope it stays around for a long time because the new generations are doing the exact same thing.”
Blige offered professional insight into some of the differences between acting and singing. The New York native cheekily agreed with the host that she could belt out a beautiful song with no problem but that acting required and offered another challenge and complexity. She listed off the names of some of the greats: Angela Bassett, Taraji P. Henson, Denzel Washington, Regina King, and others, who inspired her to explore how emotions can be explored through on-screen characters just like how she knows how to do through music.