Mary J. Blige spent the summer researching the life of late jazz and blues legend Nina Simone for an upcoming biopic.
The schedule of Blige’s film “Rock of Ages” forced producers to delay the start of the Simone story until October — to give the R & B star plenty of time to study up on one of her heroines — and get her sound just right for the project.
“I have a lot of YouTube [footage] of her to study her and I read about her and talked to different people about her,” Blige said. “I need to become whoever she was and dig in.
“I got to get a piano coach and a dialect coach to play her. Acting is something that I’m testing and it’s working. I don’t think I’m gonna become Meryl Streep… but I’m going to do the stuff that people believe in me for.”