By Rych McCain
She has been a superstar fixture on the Hollywood scene since she was a teenager. She has sold over 40 million records worldwide, appeared on dozens of major magazine covers, acted in film and on TV and played live concerts around the globe. Brandy Norwood’s latest album “Two Eleven” debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B Album chart. In her latest film role, Norwood plays Melinda, an abused woman as the result of a violent relationship in Tyler Perry’s latest offering “Temptation.” This role marks her return to the big screen after taking off a few years to be a mom.
How did the character of Melinda relate with her? Norwood lights up:
“You know what, I was so attracted to my character because of the struggles she had to face in different relationships. Sometimes women lose themselves in relationships and they camouflage and try to put on a different mask to make the relationship work. In her past, I felt that she found herself doing that and she did it too much where it really broke her down, tore her up, made her weak, vulnerable and now she’s on the run. Somewhere she thinks that’s brave and it’s not. It was so great to read a script like that and see the character unfold and almost have to be forced to confront her past so she can move on and become the woman that God created her to be.”
What was Norwood’s reaction to being in a Tyler Perry movie? She reflects:
“I was so happy to get a call from Tyler Perry mainly because he’s Tyler Perry! He said I want you to be in a movie and I said ‘You do – yes!’ What, am I going to say no? I was so happy to get a call from him and to be apart of something so intense and so real and so dramatic and so twisty and turny. I was so thankful because he could have picked anybody.”
As a child star growing up in the public eyes, Norwood has been through her share of trials and tribulations. What would she say to younger actors and recording artists who are coming behind her?
“I would say to these young artists who have to live their lives in the public eye, make sure your foundation is set. I’ve always had my mom and my dad…I think it’s important when you have your foundation. You’re going to go through stuff. You’re going to experience things but when you can come back to something solid, it will get you back on track. I’ve gotten completely off track with a foundation but because of my foundation I was able somehow to pull it together. I think that is really important. Everybody goes through hardships in their life but it’s a little bit tougher for people who do it in the public eye–especially for people who are finding out who they are in life. Like Justin Bieber is discovering who he is now. He’s just a kid and he’s doing all of that with the pressures of the world in the spirit of opinion. But if he keeps his foundation he’ll be alright.”
Norwood’s next concert appearance will be in Nashville, TN., on June 8th and she’ll be on the card at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans July 4-7th.