“Hidden Figures” star Janelle Monàe has revealed her interest in taking up more “transformative” movie roles in the future. The multi-faceted entertainer is known for her roles in movies like “Harriet,” “Antebellum,” and the Oscar-winning “Moonlight.”
Monàe’s next role will be in Rian Johnson’s “A Knives Out Mystery,” which the actress said she took because she was a fan of the director’s feature film, “Looper.” During a recent keynote speech, Monàe went into detail about her acting career and revealed her desire to venture out from her previous on-screen roles.
Read on to learn more.
Janelle Monàe Says She Wants More Versatile Roles Like Johnny Depp
According to Monáe, Johnny Depp‘s acting history inspired her to aim for something similar in the future. On Friday, the actress gave a keynote talk during the London Film Festival and spoke on her acting and music career. During her speech, she revealed that she wanted to take on more diverse roles in the future.
Per Deadline, the artist told the festival audience, “When I think about careers, this person as an actor, his life an as an actor only, Johnny Depp has a very vast career.”
Monàe’s mention of the “Black Mass” actor seemed to draw a groan out from the audience; however, she powered through and explained that the thematic range of his on-screen character was a source of inspiration to her. Depp became a controversial figure after concluding his widely publicized defamation trial against Amber Heard, his ex-wife.
Janelle Monáe Wants To Be ‘Embedded’ In Children’s Hearts
Monáe listed the number of roles Depp had played in the past and admitted that she wanted the “Janelle Monáe version” of Depp’s range or possibly something better. “The amount of roles: Willy Wonka to Sweeny Todd to all of the dramatic roles,” the artist said.
“Whatever the Janelle Monae version of that is. Maybe something even better, but I want to be able to do those sorts of like transformative characters that people are dressing up as for Halloween. Something grounded but embedded in the hearts and minds of children forever.” Monáe continued.
The actress’ first on-screen role was in “Moonlight” which went on to win the Oscar award for Best Picture in 2016. She shared that she fell in love with the film after reading the script. Since then, Monáe has appeared in movies like “Harriet,” and Oscar-nominated “Hidden Figures.”
How She Balances Her Music And Acting Career
In another part of the London Film Festival keynote, Monáe talked about balancing her music career with acting. Since going into music, the artist has released three studio albums, one of which was nominated for a Grammy award in 2019. The album in question is “Dirty Computer,” which was nominated for the Album of the Year category.
In the speech, Monáe made mention of famous artist David Bowie and how the legend had mixed his music and acting career and, quite frankly, flourished on both fronts.
“I’ve always had a world-building mind,” she explained. “I never saw my music career as something that should limit this. David Bowie did these things, so why can’t I do these things?”
Janelle Monàe Wants More ‘Joy’ And ‘Fun’ In Her Work
Monáe also talked about the nature of films she wanted to be a part of, specifying “more joy and more fun” projects. According to the artist, most of her previous screen roles were “rooted in some deep stuff,” such as race or a battle against an opposing force.
“Race. Fighting against something,” Monáe said. “I’ve been in this space where I’ve had to do a sort of retrospective of my life, of what I’m requiring of myself, my team, my relationships. Right now, I’m the most free of opinions. This is the life experience I want to have, and we’re going to fucking create it.”
At the end of the panel, the “Hidden Figures” actress was asked if, at some point in the future, she would be interested in venturing into directing. She explained that it was something she would definitely go into and expressed interest in writing.
“I want it to be something I write, but I’m super open if it’s something I can co-write or collaborate with someone on. I know that I’m supposed to direct,” the actress said. “I’m trying to create a world where that happens.”