Mary J. Blige on playing ‘Umbrella Academy’s’ ruthless villain
In “The Umbrella Academy,” R&B star Mary J. Blige plays the relentless Cha Cha, a gun-toting woman who occasionally wears a cartoon dog mask.
“I know how to shoot a Desert Eagle, a Sawed-Off Shotgun, a Glock, a Smith & Wesson and an MP 40,” she told Vogue of her knowledge in firearms. “I learned at the police academy in Los Angeles.”
The Grammy-winning singer was immediately drawn to the ruthless hitwoman, and eventually trained in hand-to-hand combat for five months as part of her preparation. “As soon as I read the script, I was like, ‘I need to play her. She’s a badass female assassinating people,” Blige said.
“I’m totally sold on acting,” declared the singer-actress, who was Oscar-nominated for her role in “Mudbound.” “It means that I can transfer all of my emotions from real-life situations onto another person—and that I lived through all of that hell for a reason.”
As for getting into her “Umbrella Academy” mind-set, she imagined “horrible situations:” “I just put ’em in Cha Cha’s head and let her go.” —OLIVER PULUMBARIT
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