Inside the Feb. 5th issue of New York Magazine, Mary J. Blige talks Mudbound, taking control of her finances, and the next chapter of her life.
The first time Mary J. Blige saw herself on screen in Mudbound, she cried. Mary transformed into the character, she put every bit of hurt she was dealing with or had dealt with in this role. Even the film director, Dee Rees shared how Mary became Florence, that folks on the set didn’t know she was Mary J. Blige, “She had this vulnerability and reserve,” Rees says. “She could feel much and withhold much.” There were just moments of stillness and her silences — this dark commentary she could say under her breath. A lot of actors tend to be very aware of their surroundings. She would just go perfectly still, and she was in her head. Just sitting, thinking.”
“I hate pain, but I know how to deal with it,” Blige elaborates. “To do the assignment God has sent me to do, I have to live certain things. And unfortunately I’m constantly living it,” Mary J. Blige said.
Taking Care of Her Business
After it was revealed during her divorce to Kendu Isaacs (who was also her manager) that Mary was dealing with money troubles, she has decided to take control of her own finances. *Oprah always said,”sign your own checks!”
“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?”
The role of Florence was the real life-changer, she says, opening lots of new options. “Everyone I see, they say, ‘Oh, my God, you were so great. I didn’t know.’ They didn’t know I had whatever they’re seeing in me; they didn’t know I could pull it off. To be quite honest, I didn’t even know I did that good.” She’d moved out to L.A. from New Jersey three years ago to be part of Hollywood, though she misses her family back east. L.A. isn’t quite her thing: “This is very slow. Sometimes you’re just sitting around like, Oh, this is boring,” she notes.
“This is the next chapter,” she says, brightening. “This is why I’m just so humbled and grateful, because I’ve been praying for this and asking for this and it’s here, outside of all this foolishness that’s happening right now.”