×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mary J. Blige on How Her ‘Mudbound’ Director Helped Her Embrace Her Beauty

Variety and PBS SoCal KOCE’s Emmy Award-winning show “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors,” presented by Google Home, is approaching its seventh season, bringing together some of the biggest stars for conversations about their perspectives on their latest works.

Actresses Mary J. Blige and Salma Hayek, who star in “Mudbound” and “Beatriz at Dinner” respectively, sat together at the studio and discussed how their latest movies influenced their perceptions of body image.

Blige said that the role of Florence in “Mudbound” came to her at a point of insecurity and low self-esteem, which caused her to initially resist when director Dee Rees called for her to strip off her makeup and other beauty accessories for the role. However, Blige eventually decided trust Rees and found that the experience allowed her to let go of her preoccupations and embrace her inner beauty, and that the sense of surrender was therapeutic.

“I didn’t really realize that I was hanging onto so many things of the world that made me feel beautiful. I was fighting for fingernails, and fighting for wigs and things like that. And I just didn’t wanna strip down, because I just was afraid,” Blige said. “Once I trusted [Rees] and let Florence live, she really liberated me. She really opened me up to my own inner beauty for real. Not what I thought I’d learn, but really truly who I am. And that none of this matters, you know?”

Hayek, however, had quite the opposite experience. The actress noted that her character did not put on makeup and wore an unflattering wig, and though director Miguel Arteta thought he would have to push her to transform for the role, she was excited to change her appearance.

“I was so excited not to look good. Because for me, it was liberating not to have to look good,” she said. “This woman has nothing to do with the way she looks. And I just loved it. I just felt really comfortable and happy to not have this burden that most women have to have, of having to look good.”

Hayek said that the role helped her realize that she did not have to try to be beautiful for anyone but herself, and Blige added that her experience playing Florence helped her accept the little details about herself, like the texture of her hair. Hayek summed up both of their experiences with some words of encouragement, saying that “there’s nothing sexier in this world than talent. And that can last forever.”

The seventh season of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” will air from Jan. 2 to Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. on PBS SoCal KOCE.

More TV

  • HBO logo

    TV News Roundup: HBO Announces Recipients of 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

    In today’s roundup, Fox Nation announces a fresh slate of programming for the summer and HBO announces the recipients of its HBOAccess Writing Fellowship. DEVELOPMENT: HBO has announced the recipients of its 2019 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship. The eight writers selected out of the 3,000 submissions will participate in an 8-month program of master classes and [...]

  • Big Bang Theory

    'Big Bang Theory,' 'Manifest' Among Top Live+7 Gainers of 2018-2019 Season

    With 2018-2019 broadcast season wrapping up, certain shows stand head and shoulders above their competition in the Nielsen Live+7 rankings. Live+7 data is currently available only through May 5, but the top dogs will likely see little change once the final numbers are in for the traditional September-May season. The top gainer in adults 18-49 [...]

  • Anna Kendrick Paul Feig

    Anna Kendrick, Paul Feig Team for Comedy Anthology Series at WarnerMedia Streaming Service

    Anna Kendrick and Paul Feig are coming to the WarnerMedia streaming service Variety has learned that the upcoming streamer has ordered the romantic comedy anthology series “Love Life,” the first season of which will star Kendrick with Feig executive producing. WarnerMedia has ordered a 10-episode first season of the half-hour series. Lionsgate Television and FeigCo [...]

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

  • ‘Gentleman Jack’ Gets Season 2 at

    ‘Gentleman Jack’ Renewed for Season 2 at BBC, HBO

    “Gentleman Jack” will return to TV screens on both sides of the Atlantic after the BBC and HBO ordered a second season of the period drama. The series is based on a true story and stars Suranne Jones as Anne Lister, a lesbian, and the proprietor of her family’s coal mines. She has to walk [...]

  • Jane Austin SAG AFTRA

    SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin Running for President

    Jane Austin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, has become the third candidate for the presidency of the performers union, joining incumbent Gabrielle Carteris and Matthew Modine. Austin is running as an independent for the top post at SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members. Carteris will seek re-election as the head of the ticket for the Unite [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content