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Exclusive: Mary J. Blige Uses Divorce To Deliver Emotional Performance In ‘Mudbound’

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Mary J. Blige is nothing short of spectacular in Dee Rees’ new drama, Mudbound. 

Playing a resilient matriarch to a family during time of racial tensions and segregation, Blige was able to tap into her own personal life to bring out emotion in the character. “I was being prepared for this role ever since I was a little kid,” the singer told us. “This woman was in my DNA.”

It was the Grammy Award winner’s divorce from Kendu Issacs, however, that really became the driving force behind the powerful performance. “I was able to give her all of the heaviness and the sadness and the terrible thing I was dealing with it,” she told us.

Mary, who’s ex-husband recently asked a judge for $65,000 per month in spousal support, explained that she was able to let the character “hold” the pain “and be silent with it. Let everything else explode through her eyes and expression.”

According to director Dee Rees, it was Mary’s soul that instantly drew her to the singer. “I wanted an actress who had an external reserve with an interior vulnerability and Mary has that exactly,” Rees told HipHollywood.

Mudbound hits Neftlix on November 17.

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