Talk to us about playing Faith Evans in Notorious.
It was an opportunity of a lifetime because I was a fan of all the artists that we portrayed in the movie. I got to spend time with Faith. We talked a lot. She let me read the manuscript of her book. It helped me get the back story, reading the manuscript of the book. She was in LA and I was in New York at the time, so I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her in person, but I used YouTube. That’s also how I prepared for my audition… I was looking at YouTube videos. It was just incredible. It’s so surreal.
You’re an artist yourself. How’s your music coming along and what’s your sound?
Nobody’s heard it because I haven’t put anything out yet. It’s still kind of early. I’m a pop soul artist. Whitney, Aretha, Mariah, that’s kind of like how I sing, but it’s still soulful music with hip-hop undertones. It’s pop soul with a hip-hop appeal to it.
Tell us about Abduction and your role in it.
It’s with Taylor Lautner, who all the little girls love because there were hundreds of girls waiting just to get a glimpse of him when we were shooting in Pittsburgh. It was crazy. He finds a childhood picture of him on a missing persons’ website. It’s like, “Wait a minute, I’m 18, so if I’m missing, who am I?” He starts to look around. He finds out that the people who raised him aren’t his parents. He doesn’t know who to trust. I’m a good guy. I’m a CIA agent and we’re actually chasing Taylor to protect him, but he doesn’t know that. I don’t want to give away the whole plot. There’s another independent movie I did that’s coming out at the end of the year. It’s a pretty, pretty dramatic movie called Yelling to the Sky. It stars me and Zoe Kravitz. We’re sisters. Mom has some mental issues, dad has alcoholic and abusive [issues]. We’re in a crazy family life and Gabby Sidibe [is also in it]. It’s kind of like a coming of age story. I don’t want to give too much away.
How is it balancing the music and acting?
I’m just grateful that everything has been going along the path. I feel a little like a young Diana Ross, a young Barbara Streisand, where I could do movies, I could put out music and I could do musicals.