*No, that’s not Storm from “X-Men.”
It’s Mary J. Blige as a blonde afro-wearing angel in director Kasi Lemmons’ upcoming holiday film, “Black Nativity.”
The story, first conceived by Langston Hughes in 1961 as an annual church pageant, gets a Lemmons-penned plot for this urbanized version. A young single mom (Jennifer Hudson) in Baltimore who struggles to make ends meet is forced to send her child (Jacob Latimore) to live with her estranged parents (Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett) in New York City.
Blige’s angelic character pops up in a montage mixing Whitaker’s Christmas Eve sermon with his napping grandson’s dream of a Bethlehem in Times Square. In one scene, Blige’s angel hits up an outdoor basketball court to sing about the arrival of baby Jesus, commanding a chorus of inner-city shepherds to follow her to the manger.
…And in that wig, white leather maxi-coat and stiletto boots, she’s hard to miss.
“I loved it while I was wearing it,” Blige said of the wig, during interviews for the film last weekend. “It’s Kasi’s perspective of what she believed this angel should look like, so I’m just wearing what they told me to wear. But of course, people [see set] pictures and are like, ‘Ooh, Mary got a new platinum wig,’ thinking it’s my hair. And I’m like, ‘No! This is not what I’m doing!’ But it was cool for the character.”
Below, Mary tells us the type of roles she’s looking to play in future…and more importantly, the roles she hopes to stay away from.
“Black Nativity” hits theaters on Nov. 27. Watch the trailer below.