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Janelle Monáe discusses ‘triggering’ experience of filming her new movie on a former slave plantation

Janelle Monáe says filming her new horror movie Antebellum was “triggering” at times, with multiple scenes set on a slave plantation.

The horror film stars Monáe as Veronica Henley, a successful author who is somehow transported to a 19th-century slave plantation and forced to work as a slave.

Speaking to fellow actresses Zendaya, Reese Witherspoon, Helena Bonham Carter, Rose Byrne and Jennifer Aniston for a Hollywood Reporter roundtable, Monáe described the shoot as an intense experience during which she “brought all of my ancestors home with me.”

“And we were filming most of the stuff at night on a plantation, and I felt everything,” she said.

“There were just certain conversations even at craft services that if I heard would be triggering for me.”

She continued: “I couldn’t even talk to my family sometimes. It was kind of unhealthy when I think back.”

Directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Benz, Antebellum also stars Kiersey Clemons, Jena Malone, Jack Huston and Gabourey Sidibe.

Explaining why she wanted to take on the role, Monáe said: “This is a project that is so of the times, and it was not going to be a yes for me because I knew the responsibility and the weight of it and I knew what this character was going to have to go through physically and emotionally.”

Antebellum is currently slated to arrive in cinemas on Friday, August 21, 2020.


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