Mary J. Blige used own experiences in Mudbound
Mary J. Blige used the emotions she experienced in her split from her husband when making 'Mudbound'.
The 46-year-old rapper-turned-actress stars as Florence Jackson in the new drama from Dee Rees - which follows the unlikely friendship between two men, one white and one black, as they find common ground after they return from World War Two - and she used her own life experiences to bring the character to life.
Last year, Blige filed for divorce from her husband and former manager Martin 'Kendu' Isaacs after 14 years together due to rumours of his infidelity and she is unable to speak to her three stepchildren due to the acrimonious nature of their split and the pain she has endured from that situation motivated her performance.
Speaking to the Metro newspaper, Blige said: "It was definitely therapeutic and perfect timing. I drew on my experiences from being a stepmother but I also took a lot of my challenges, which is a lot of heaviness, sadness and uncertainty. I just gave everything to Florence. And once I was done I was able to let of it go. I'm definitely stronger now but I'm still dealing with a lot.
"There's so much beauty right now, though, with this film, it's really overweighing the darkness and negativity that come with this type of foolishness."
Blige stars alongside Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund and Jason Clarke in the movie, which is based on Hillary Jordan's novel of the same name.
And the singer said the script is "so relevant" and after one particular scene where her on-screen son gets lynched, Blige was "destroyed" after someone was lynched in Atlanta the day after.
She said: "The script was so relevant, which is really sad. The day we did a particular scene, I got a text to tell me someone had been lynched in Atlanta. All day long I was destroyed, so the tears were from the divorce but also the disbelief there was a lynching. And was this the only one we know about? It's still happening - and with our leader saying it's cool, it's awful. If this film is going to be a vessel to help see ourselves clear then I'm glad I was a part of it."