Mary J. Blige Talks About What She Wants People To Take Away From MUDBOUND

Mudbound tackles such topics as racism, returning veterans, PTSD and, inequality, all in the setting of post World War II. It’s not everyday Netflix releases an award-winning independent film that is so impactful, so poignant, so life-changing that you must watch it to spark the conversation about civil rights and equality in America. And further, discuss where it was decades ago versus what it has mutated to. But, on the other side of the coin, the film does bring hope and shines a light on those that made the choice to be trailblazers shifting the paradigm of what we perceive as the status quo. To quote Mary J. Blige “I just believe that [I just hope that] people take away the fact that, we are really all in this together and we need each other more than we even know and, that we all belong. [like] everyone belongs and, that this is an opportunity… this time division is an opportunity for us to learn how to love ourselves love our neighbor and love our… And love our enemies

Garrett Hedlund, Mary J. Blige and Rob Morgan appear in Mudbound by Dee Rees, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute |photo by Steve Dietl.

THS: One thing I want to ask I guess concerning the film itself is; How has the film actually informed your views concerning the cultural climate that we are in right now.

Mary J. Blige: I mean. For one I just believe that [I just hope that] people take away the fact that, we are really all in this together and we need each other more than we even know and, that we all belong. [like] everyone belongs and, that this is an opportunity… this time division is an opportunity for us to learn how to love ourselves love our neighbor and love our… And love our enemies. [you know] that it’s hard but I think this is what this time is saying [and] what this film is reflecting.

THS: Also yourself, being a multi-faceted entertainer. How did you prepare for such a role?

Mary J Blige: Well I believe I was being prepared for this role ever since I was a child. My mother is a Southern woman my father is from the south as well and, they moved to New York in the twenty’s and they had me in the Bronx. [But] my mom would send us down south and we [you know] we became old enough to go down south to [you know] to see my grandparents and my grandmother was Florence, all my aunts were Florence so this woman is in my D.N.A. and then I had my own personal life things going on so all the heaviness in confusion and all of the stuff that I was feeling I was able to lay it on Florence and let her deal with it but ofcourse I needed an acting coach to [you know] help me really [like] get it out.

THS: [Yeah, I understand] and both of you are playing very strong women in this film. Carrie yourself, you’re coming up to play I believe…

Carey Mulligan: Gloria.

THS: That’s right! Now how is that [like] ranking up from this realm now to that next, how is that for you right now?

Carey Mulligan: Daunting. Daunting I was so excited to work with Dee again but the prospect of playing Her is [yeah] it’s a massive privilege and nerve-racking racking but it’s going to be exciting.

THS: Also you are on my favorite episode of Dr Who. Do you have any advice for Jodi coming up now

Carrie: JODY!

THS: Yes, she’s going to be the new Doctor.

Carrie: I know she’s going to be amazing. She’s such a good actress to do it because she’s extraordinary. I actually, years and years and years ago, I got ill doing a play in London. I got appendicitis and with two hours notice she came in and played the role that I was playing when I was in hospital. With a book reading it… She’s reading Checkoff this book [you know] and  she was amazing so I mean she’s she’s in a league of her own [Jodi]. I think she doesn’t need any advice from me she’s going to be amazing.

THS: During the film, I know a lot of actors have some type of things they do to stay in character throughout the film while their shooting. Was there any kind of things either of you did during shooting at all?

Mary J Blige: I think the wardrobe alone will keep you in character.

Carey Mulligan: Yeah, the heat kept us in character. The mosquito’s and the sweat.

Mary J Blige: The environment.

Carey Mulligan: Dehydration kept us pretty much there, that was so… that all helped.

THS: Working through the film, have you guys found your own type of bond, through working together in the film?

Mary J Blige: Yeah, I love Carey and I fell in love with Carey on set like the very first day I had to work with her [I was like] “I want to talk to her some more. I’m going to leave alone today but I’m going to get over there”. I mean I just love who she is [you know] her personality, I’m blessed and honored to be a stand beside her in this film.

Carey Mulligan: We were very lucky and we connected on day one. And really like held hands through the whole process [you know] anxious about it for various reasons but I think it brought us together [you know] that we that were both facing the same fears about doing it and, [yeah] it’s a very sweet.

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