Mary J. Blige Talks Mudbound, Beauty & Financial Struggles
How stripping down for Mudbound, helped her realize her own beauty:
I’m Mary J. Blige. I mean, like, this is what I do. I wear wigs, I wear bob wigs, and I had to completely strip down to my own natural hair texture, which I’ve always been afraid of. Dee stripped me down all the way to what I truly am, and people were complimenting me. People were saying how beautiful I was. I didn’t know I was that beautiful for real. You understand what I’m saying? I didn’t know that.
How life experiences shaped her for her character in Mudbound:
I hate pain, but I know how to deal with it. To do the assignment God has sent me to do, I have to live certain things. And unfortunately I’m constantly living it. You understand what I’m saying? It’s like trying to talk to a prison class, but you’ve never been to prison.
Not telling anyone on set about her impending divorce to Kendu Isaacs:
It wasn’t anybody’s business. I just kept it and gave it all to Florence.
How Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs inspired her tomboy fashion early in her career:
What I loved about Puff is he immediately saw — I mean, instead of a tight dress, he put a baggy Armani suit on me with some Teflon boots. I wore a miniskirt sometimes, a pleated miniskirt, but I wore boots with it. But I hated skirts, I hated dresses…It took me a long time. I didn’t want to wear lipstick and all this stuff. I’d fight not to wear these little shorts [in videos], and I’d end up wearing them and the video would be great. And you’d be like, Okay, that’s not bad, and you start to grow. I’m just learning how to stand up straight, and I have to remember to posture myself straight on the red carpet.
On being apprehensive about doing interviews:
I’m always thinking about, What am I going to say if this person just disrespects me? How am I going to handle it? Because back in the day, I didn’t handle it well. I just cursed you out completely, like right out of the gate. But now I think about what I say because then the interview was, ‘Mary cursed me out. She’s a bitch, she’s this, da, da, da.’?”
How she handled her initial success:
I had money, and I had access to all the things that I used to tear my life down. I went crazy. I could get any drug, anything, at any moment.
Being more financially responsible:
I’m just being straight-up honest. I never wanted to do all this stuff, but after what I’ve been through and all the mess that I’m in … You have to pay those taxes. It’s good to see what you have and what you don’t have — and why are we paying this person $5,000 a week?