Movie role takes Mary J. Blige back to her party-like-a-rock-star years
R&B singer Mary J. Blige plays a strip-club owner in “Rock of Ages” (opening Friday) but doesn’t plan on giving up the pop music that made her famous.
“This is not a transition,” Blige says of acting. “I’m not giving up my day job, which is singing. Acting is just an add-on. I’m attaching it.”
Q. Tell us about your character.
A. She doesn’t allow her environment to dictate who she is. She tells the other women, “You’re better than this. It’s just a rest stop.” … I did love singing ‘Any Way You Want It.’ It was rock ’n’ roll in the ’80s and MTV. It was also a message for this gentleman’s club, where the motto is any way you want it.
Q. How did you get the role?
A. The director, Adam Shankman, told me at Jennifer Lopez’ housewarming party. He said, “I’m going to put you in a movie.” Honestly, you don’t pay attention to words like that because people in Hollywood just say stuff. But he actually called me and put me in a movie.
Q. This movie is one big party. Do you still party like a rock star in real life?
A. I don’t party like I used to, but I did have my party-like-a-rock-star years. I still do have fun. I go to dinner with my girlfriends. We laugh and we have drinks. Then we go home and go to bed. There is no more hanging out until 7 a.m. Your body just can’t take it.
Q. What is the hardest part of being a female rock star?
A. You’re constantly trying to fight for your identity as a female artist. Everyone is not happy for you. People also just say yes to you about everything, which can be very bad for you. No one is telling you the truth. I try to be confident, so I can make better people choices. I’ll say to someone, “You’re lying. Get out of here.” Or I’ll say, “I know who I am. So, get out of here.”
Q. Any truth to the rumor that you’re a frontrunner to play Whitney Houston if there is a movie based on her life?
A. I’m not going to say yes or no. Would I do Whitney? I don’t know.
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