The ESSENCE Music Festival headliner will play a fun and upbeat character in Rock of Ages, out on June 15, but she's also planning to take on a historical role in the coming months.
According to EURweb, Blige will play Dr. Betty Shabazz, the wife of Malcolm X, in a new TV movie called Parallel Lives. She's already begun preparing for the role. "I've been studying her online and watching her interviews," she told WENN.
The film follows the relationship Shabazz and Coretta Scott King shared through the '60s and beyond. There's no word on who will play King in the movie.
Blige is taking her acting seriously these days. She told Chelsea Handler, "Even though I was given the part in Rock of Ages, I wanted to prepare myself so I went to work for it. I just didn't want to get the part because I was Mary J. Blige. I went and did the work, I got an acting coach."
Parallel Lives begins filming in September.