Jurnee talks complex ‘Temptation’ role, Kim Kardashian

JurneeSmollettActress Jurnee Smollett-Bell stars in Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, as Judith, a marriage counselor who finds her life conflicted after having an affair.

The 26-year-old actress opened up to TheGrio.com about the potential public reaction to such a controversial character.

“I honestly wasn’t concerned about how people would receive me as this character,” she said. “It’s not like she’s all bad. She’s very complex, and those are the elements that intrigue me as an artist; those shades of grey.”

Jurnee, who is making her first big screen appearance in roughly six years, stars alongside Vanessa Williams, Brandy Norwood and Kim Kardashian, who stars as her co-worker.

She commended Kim’s eagerness to learn from Tyler Perry and urged the public to go see the movie before making any judgments about the reality star’s performance.

“She was very open; she wanted to learn from Tyler; she was so eager to really try to make this the best that she could. Honestly, her character is kind of similar to her little sassy relationship that she has with her sisters, so Tyler and I tried to draw that out of her, and just pretty much told her to think of me as one of her sisters,” Jurnee said of Kim. She also noted, “[Kim] was so sweet to me on the set.”

Jurnee has been acting since she was a child, but gained notoriety for her role as Samantha Booke in The Great Debaters, a film that saw her acting alongside and under the direction of Denzel Washington. The actress compared the experience of working with Denzel to that of working with Tyler.

Great Debaters, we shot in three months; Temptation ,we shot in 17 days,” remembered Jurnee. “Tyler’s quick, but both know what they want. It’s really hard to compare the two because they’re so different with their approaches and yet they both know what they want. They both had a vision with an end result in mind.”

Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor opens in theatres March 29.

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