Dee Rees and Mary J. Blige discuss all that went into preparing Blige for portraying her character in the recently released Netflix original movie, ‘Mudbound’:
“Mary J. Blige spends much of Dee Rees’ southern tragedy Mudbound holding her tongue. As Florence Jackson, the matriarch of a sharecropper family continually bossed around by the white folks who own their land, she’s swollen with words she’s not allowed to say, starting with “No” to the McAllan jerk who’s always interrupting her dinners to demand that she, or her husband, or her children, obey his commands.
“She’s an observer,” says Rees. “She sees everything, but she’ll say only a little of what she sees.” Instead, Blige channels Florence’s exasperation through her mighty silence. Though during one take, as Jason Clarke’s irritating Henry McAllan once more knocks on their door, Blige couldn’t resist muttering, “What he want?” Rees liked the ad-lib so much she kept it in the film.”
Originally published: 12/13/2017