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Mary J. Blige on Her Character

Mary J. Blige on 'Mudbound': 'Love Was the Silver Lining'

Mary J. Blige took on one of her biggest film roles to date this year in Dee Rees’ “Mudbound.”

“You don’t realize how vain you are until you have to play Florence Jackson,” Blige joked at Variety’s Screening Series presented by FilmStruck.

Blige also discussed the demanding physical aspects of the film. “It kept us in character,” she says. “It put us all in perspective, like, this is how these people were living. This was their weather conditions, this is what destroyed their farms, the rain. I couldn’t believe how in a film like this, there were free black people and love was the silver lining and love was the thing that saved the day. I was like, ‘Oh, I have to be in this movie.”

She said she couldn’t say goodbye to her character after the movie wrapped. “She really liberated me,” Blige says. “She set a part of Mary free that I never thought would be set free. She gave me a newfound confidence that she’s in me, she’s probably always been in me, and I’ll never let her go.”

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