Janelle Monáe talks about her new movie, ‘Antebellum’

The Grammy nominee and actress plays a successful modern-day author who gets trapped in a terrifying situation that forces her to confront the past.
5:08 | 09/14/20

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Transcript for Janelle Monáe talks about her new movie, ‘Antebellum’
Yeah, but we have somebody else that we want to talk about right now. Another fantastic guest that is joining us. She is an eight-time grammy nominee. She is a phenomenal actress. She can do it all and starring in a new movie. It is called "Antebellum." Would you please welcome Janelle mona is here with us this morning. Oh, always looking fierce, looking ready to go. So nice to see you again. My goodness. Hey, turntables, a new one and you wrote something on Twitter that I want to say. You said, you wrote, what's a song without a revolution, what's a revolution without a song? So is this song for a revolution? Well, one, hi, good morning. I'm so happy to be here. I love you. And we are in the middle of a revolution right now. I know you can feel it. And I think that energy is going to be important and giving each other energy because there's a lot of emotional fatigue as people March, as people are online as people are fighting for black lives and marginalized voices so this song was just my way of giving energy to the revolutionaries and to the revolution that we're in. It is powerful indeed. You also have a powerful new movie coming out. I've seen the trailer and cannot wait to watch it, absentee accuweather. You play a successful modern day author who gets trapped in a terrifying situation that forces her to confront the past and say the movie is like a mirror. Yes. This movie is a reflection of America. And America is many things and we are many things and my hope is when people watch this film that they will be able to see themselves in here and some people who watch it won't like what they see. That means it's time to deal with it. It's time to be truthful because the first thing we need to do in order to change and to improve as Americans, as, you know, accomplices, especially to help marginalized voices and folks is hold ourselves accountable so, yes, this did a mirror. You may not like what you see when you watch it. We cannot wait to see it. We want to take on the challenge. Let's give everybody a look right now. We must choose our moment we keep our heads down and our mouths shut. Do you understand me? I know you and I know that you my only way out of here. Well, you can tell that's an emotionally taxing role, and physically taxing. How did you handle that? Well, you know, as an actor you have to have your piece, you know, something that centers you and I do a lot of meditation, I also called on the ancestors, this film really does deal with our past and it reminds us that our past is never dead. The past is not even the past. And there's some things we're experiencing right now that are directly connected to our past and in order to make sure that our future is brighter, is better and is more inclusive, we have to deal with them head-on so there were a lot of moments where I would film and there were some uncomfortable scenes, but I really did have to think about the heroes of the past. I had to think about women today who inspire me like Maxine waters, Angela rye, Brittany packnet. Angela Davis, you know, black women have led revolutions for so many years and my character Veronica was inspired by all of them and wanted to honor the ancestors and the modern day women who show up for us every Yeah, you're also doing that playing Dorothy Pittman Hughes, Gloria steinem reached out to you and asked to you play the role, yes? Yes, she did. I love Gloria. She really didn't have to do this. But she wrote me a letter and she asked me if I would portray Dorothy who is such an icon, not a lot of people know about her and that's why I said yes. She was one of the first black women to own her own business in she started it in her community and in addition to being like this incredible singer and speaker, she's really one of the reasons why Gloria stieng them can speak because Gloria had -- she would get stage fright and Dorothy would have to come and walk her through it, so she credits Dorothy for helping her become a better public speaker and helping her also start "Miss" magazine which was the iconic magazine for women. We can't wait. We can watch them. Janelle mona, thank you so much for being with us. "Antebellum" debuts on premium on demand platforms this Friday. Cannot wait. We'll be watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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