Janelle Monáe has admitted that every movie, album and stage performance she gives is powered by “vulnerability”.
The 34-year-old singer-and-actress – whose latest role sees her replace Julia Roberts as the lead of the Amazon series “Homecoming” – has admitted that whether she is on stage, making an album or on screen, she is powered by “vulnerability”.
The “Moonlight” star confessed that she will often begin a film or a song not knowing “what the hell” she’s doing, whilst it takes a lot to transform into her stage persona.
She explained: “Vulnerability is key, whether it’s an album or a show.
“I’m an open wound every time I go into a new project.
“I always admit that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing and then choose the colours I want to paint with from there.
“It takes a lot of spirit work to make Janelle Monáe – the artist on stage performing at a concert – unseen.”
Getting to take the place of Julia as Jackie in the drama series, Monáe insisted, enabled her to “sharpen” her “sword as an actor”.
She said: “It really helped me sharpen my sword as an actor.
“Julia Roberts is an icon. I am such a fan of hers.
“I’d watched the first season and listened to the podcast and I just loved the tone of the whole show, even down to how the credits play while the camera is still rolling.”
The ‘Locked Inside’ singer is proud to be one of few black women in TV and has praised the Emmy-winning show – which is about the Homecoming facility for helping former soldiers settle back into normal life – for raising “important questions” and concerns about the treatment of veterans.
She added to Britain’s The I newspaper: “There are not a lot of black women leading TV right now.
“The show asks important questions: what resources are we giving [veterans] financially, spiritually or emotionally?
“How are we there for our vets, and how can we be there for them more?”