To prepare for her upcoming role in Rock of Ages, Mary J. Blige frequented a few strip clubs for research.
The R&B diva told Chelsea Handler that working alongside seasoned actors like Tom Cruise made her want to really prepare for the role.
“I was so nervous. Of course, I had to go get a coach because to stand next to Tom and Catherine [Zeta-Jones] and all those big, real actors and actresses, I had to prepare myself. I went to work because I was just given the part,” said Mary, who didn’t have to audition for the role.
“I just went to work for it. I didn’t just want to get the part because I was Mary J. Blige,” she said.
Mary described her role as Justice Charlier as her first major acting gig. While she has mastered performing onstage as a vocalist, it took her a minute to get used to acting.
“I just felt so awkward. We think we can do it when we see other people do it on TV, but it’s hard to make something out of nothing,” explained Mary, who is praised for giving her music fans the authentic Mary all the time.
To really relate to the character, who is no stranger to the stripper pole, Mary visited an exotic dance club or two.
“When I got there, the women are so sincere,” she said. “I’m sitting there talking to them all night and the guys are waiting to get dances, and they’re talking to me, but it was fun.”
Mary’s Justice might have a lot of experience with stripping, but does Mary? The songstress said she’s never done it professionally, but that doesn’t mean she’s never dabbled in it at home.
“We all do stuff behind closed doors with our husbands, boyfriends. We have fantasies. Right? Our fantasy is to be sexy,” she laughed.
Watch more of Mary’s interview below.
—Tracy L. Scott