The multi-talented Mary J. Blige said she didn’t see it coming when she received a double Golden Globe Awards nomination this year — for best supporting actress and for best original song in the Netflix film, “Mudbound.”
Considered the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Blige already has nine Grammy Awards and many other acknowledgments of her vocal and lyrical abilities.
“Mudbound” premiered at Sundance in January to rave reviews. Directed by Dee Rees, it tells the story of two families, one black and one white, living and working on a plot of land in the rural Mississippi Delta, circa 1940s.
Blige performs the role of Florence, the matriarch of the black family who ends up working for the landowners.
Our film, @mudboundmovie, was nominated for 2 @GoldenGlobes – Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song. Huge congrats to @maryjblige and the entire team for their remarkable work. #StayMACRO #Mudbound #GoldenGlobes pic.twitter.com/PhLErFyhKo
— MACRO (@stayMACRO) December 11, 2017
The acting nomination and the nomination for her song, “Mighty River,” make Blige the first performer to be simultaneously nominated in song and acting in 10 years, according to Variety. This puts her in the company of Beyonce, Barbra Streisand, Bjork and Dolly Parton — other female singer/actors who were nominated in both categories in the past. Only Streisand has won both (for the 1976 film “A Star Is Born”).
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This is Blige’s first nomination as an actress, but she’s been up for best song before, for “The Living Proof” from “The Help” in 2011. This could put Blige in contention for the Academy Awards:
“The Globes’ music winners often match up with the Oscars’, although they’ve occasionally rewarded songs by superstars that don’t even make it into Academy Award contention, like … a Prince composition from ‘Happy Feet,'” Variety reported.
The LA Times spoke with Blige about the nomination just moments after she got the news. Here’s an excerpt from that interview:
Where were you when you got the call?
I was in bed. My publicist Amanda woke me up and I was like, “Wow,” just screaming and thanking God and praising Him. It’s amazing.
What do you hope people are taking away from your character Florence in the film?
To be humble. To be powerful. To know who we are. Florence is like every woman. She’s the center and holds things together without getting too emotional about it. She loves her family. So, I hope people know that … you can figure a way out of things. Florence was a quiet, silent power.
And you had to strip down for this role, no makeup, hair, nails…
When it was all taking place, I was fresh off a Bad Boy Reunion show. You don’t realize how vain you are and of the issues you have until you have to play Florence and have to get rid of lashes and wigs.
I was like, “Why can’t she wear a wig? I don’t want my own textured hair out there without some sort of relaxer.” But when you get rid of these things and you’re walking around and people are seeing your natural beauty and they’re actually complimenting you… I realized I didn’t need all of these things. Florence actually liberated me in a lot of ways. She gave me a lot of newfound confidence. I hold my head up regardless of if I have a perm or nails or lashes. She helped me in a time when I was needing that confidence.
If (writer-director) Dee (Rees) hadn’t put her foot down, Florence would’ve had a wavy hair wig and she would’ve been manufactured.
How will you be celebrating?
Oh my. I have to go to work. I’ll be celebrating by smiling and how I normally treat people and treat myself. I’m going to be working hard. That’s how I’ll celebrate today.
Here is the Los Angeles Times’ complete Golden Globe coverage of the nominations.