Singer-turned-actress Mary J. Blige has been fighting off tears of joy after learning of her two Oscar nominations for Mudbound.
The No More Drama hitmaker has been winning critical acclaim for her supporting role as family matriarch Florence Jackson in the Netflix film, about two men who experience racism in rural Mississippi upon their return from World War II, and on Tuesday (23Jan18), she was named among the contenders for the 2018 Academy Awards.
Mary will compete for the Best Supporting Actress prize, as well as Best Original Song for Mighty River, the theme tune she wrote with fellow hip-hop star Raphael Saadiq and his longtime collaborator Taura Stinson.
The superstar spent the morning “yelling and screaming and about to cry” after the Oscars shortlist was announced, and she is still in awe at the double nomination.
“This is a new one, the actress nominee, and this is beautiful. This is really special,” she adds to The Associated Press. “So is the song because it’s something that I love to do. I love to sing. And that’s something I’ve been doing for a very long time that’s special to me, and the Oscars have recognized it. So it’s all special.”
Saadiq is equally stunned by his first Academy Award nod: “I couldn’t be more surprised or thrilled that Mighty River got a nomination,” he tells WENN. “Working with Mary J. Blige and Taura Stinson is always a breeze, they are very talented. I am truly blessed.”
Mudbound is also up for Best Adapted Screenplay for director Dee Rees and co-writer Virgil Williams, and Best Achievement in Cinematography for Rachel Morrison.
Both mentions make Oscars history – Rees is the first African–American woman to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, while Morrison is the first female to ever be mentioned in her category, and Blige insists it was a real pleasure working with the pair.
“(Dee) gave me new life with Florence and she gave me courage to play this character,” Mary shares. “And Rachel was just amazing. Seeing these women every day on set, it was so refreshing and such a treat and just beautiful.”
The 90th Annual Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 4 March (18).