(CBS Local)– Janelle Monáe is one of the most talented people in all of Hollywood.
The 34-year-old is an 8x GRAMMY nominated musician, an actor who has been in movies like “Hidden Figures,” “Moonlight,” and “Harriet” and the star of season two of “Homecoming” on Amazon. The series deals with the themes of mental health, amnesia and trauma and Monáe says there were several challenges in playing her character named Jackie.
“I had to play someone who does not have a memory, who does not understand who she is and how she got there,” said Monáe in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “You see my character Jackie in a boat in the middle of a lake. You watch her journey to self-discovery and her trying to uncover her identity. Every time she thinks she’s getting closer to the truth, she gets closer to a lie. There are lots of twists and turns and plot twists in this season.”
Monáe says she prepared for the role by watching films like Christopher Nolan’s “Momento” and “Before I Go To Sleep” starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.
“I didn’t want to play Jackie one note. I didn’t want her to be disoriented the whole time. After a while, what I learned is when people lose their memory, they’re frusturated that they can’t remember,” said Monáe. “They feel inadequate and they are on the defense.”
While Monáe is a relatively new to the acting game, she feels the weight and responsibility of the roles she plays and the shows and movies she chooses to be in.
“Each time I do a role, I try to walk away a better actor,” said Monáe. “I want to learn something from my scene partners. I had the best scene partners with Homecoming. Stephan James, Hong Chau, Chris Cooper and Joan Cusack. You want to be better and you want to come in ready to play and ready to sharpen your sword.”
It’s always great when you connect a role to community and to voices that historically haven’t been highlighted. I like those roles and some things I do because I like them, they’re personal, they stretch me and I want to learn about them. I’ll probably do more of that as soon as we can start filming. I want to do more comedies and I never want to limit myself.”
Season two of “Homecoming” drops on Amazon on Friday, May 22 and watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.