Mariah Carey gets a lot of grief over being a bad actress — “Glitter,” anyone? — but she was believable enough to fool her “husband.”
Lance Reddick — who’s known for his work on “The Wire” and “Lost” and will be a FBI agent on J.J. Abrams’ upcoming television show “Fringe”– was cast late in the game for the upcoming movie “Tennessee” (”Honestly, they were going to go with a bigger name,” Reddick said, “but they lost that someone”). So by the time he was signed up as Carey’s character’s husband Frank, “I had less than a week before we started shooting,” Reddick said.
On his first day on set, he was slated to shoot a scene where Frank menances his wife Krystal, because she didn’t buy the kind of beer he wanted for his card game. Krystal’s a waitress who dreams of being a songwriter (at least the latter part is something Mariah could relate to). But she’s married to a state trooper who believes that since he pays the bills, she better do what he wants.
“So on my first day, the first time I ever meet her, I have to go in cold and grab her arm and throw her against the wall,” Reddick said. And while he was holding her by the neck, she screamed. Considering her multi-octave range, “I wouldn’t even want to begin to imitate how that sounded,” he said.
“I thought I hurt her,” he added, “so I stopped. I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And she said, ‘Hello? I’m acting.’”
Reddick was astonished. After that first take, they did the scene from start to finish a couple more times to get different angles, but since that moment, he’s had a newfound respect for her.
“She was so committed to being a great actress,” he said. “And she was.”