Watch our exclusive ‘Bessie’ chats to sing praises of blues legend: Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander …

Bessie” fans, did you miss any of our exclusive chats with the cast and crew of HBO’s acclaimed biopic about groundbreaking blues singer Bessie Smith? We’ve listed them all below for your viewing pleasure, including our interviews with director Dee Rees and stars Queen Latifah, Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander and Tika Sumpter.

Watch almost 200 video chats with 2015 Emmy contenders

Queen Latifah on her personal connection to Bessie Smith: “I don’t think my ego ever got as out of control as Bessie’s did, but being humbled in different ways, getting up and dusting yourself off, partying too much and hanging out too much, sleeping with the wrong person maybe. All those things I’ve kind of been through.”

Dee Rees on why she responded so strongly to Smith’s story: “And this Tennessee black queer woman – I’m a Tennessee black queer woman, so on a personal level I was like, oh yeah, this is me. I relate to this story. I can imagine what that must be like.”

Michael Kenneth Williams on embodying the struggles of African-Americans in “Bessie” and “Boardwalk Empire“: “Having played Chalky White definitely was instrumental in me getting into the mindset of Jack Gee. Their struggles were very similar: black men trying to make it in America. One was a bootlegger, and one decided that he was going to marry the woman of his dreams and use her as a vehicle to getting him a better way of life. In the same time-frame, it was do or die for both men.”

Khandi Alexander on finding the humanity in Bessie’s resentful sister Viola: “I felt that she was frustrated and deeply resentful because their mom died and she had to take over that role at such a young age. And it was during a very hard time in this country, economically as well as racially, so I just felt she was very bitter and very angry.”

Tika Sumpter on playing Bessie’s lover, Lucille: “What I love about Lucille is she’s kind of this ride-or-die chick, this girl who loved her regardless of the excess in Bessie’s life and still held on and still was there when people were fighting over her.”

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