Adrienne Warren interview: ‘Women of the Movement’

“I get excited about the opportunity to shed light on our ancestors and our icons,” expresses Adrienne Warren of the opportunity to portray real life figures. After winning a Tony Award for embodying Tina Turner in “Tina,” the actress took on an entirely different type of person in the ABC limited series “Women of the Movement,” playing Mamie Till-Mobley. While many folks know about the horror she faced when her son Emmett Till was murdered, when it comes to Mamie’s transition into a civil rights activist, we are often less informed. “I didn’t know enough about her myself,” admits Warren, “That alone was inspiration enough for me to become a part of it.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

“She’s a superhero, but how did she get her cape?” asks Warren, summarizing the story at the heart of “Women of the Movement.” Mamie led a fairly normal life until her son was the victim of a heinous hate crime, and the actress was eager for the challenge of finding “the nuances of a character that didn’t start as a warrior.”

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Till-Mobley’s style was a major asset in figuring out the character. “I changed my entire body for the series,” explains Warren. Dancing her way through Tina Turner’s song catalog eight shows a week meant she was in incredible shape, so the actress put on 30lbs to properly portray a woman of the setting. “I wanted to really have the body and profile of a woman in the 50s,” she describes, “clothes fit differently on bodies in the 50s.”

Once she was outfitted in the vintage costumes, the character clicked. “In a way I realized it was her armor. Her style became her armor,” reveals the actress. “Every time you go outside of your door, you represent not just yourself, you represent your family. You represent your people. That informed me so much.”

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When it came time for intense scenes, such as when Till-Mobley first sees her son’s casket or when she encounters his body at the morgue, Warren believes she was advised by the activist herself. “I was actually guided by her,” states the Tony winner. Till-Mobley’s auto-biography paints a detailed, honest picture of what this mother was thinking and feeling during the most difficult moments of her life. These descriptions created an invaluable blueprint for Warren.

One moment in particular sticks out as the point where this mother “got her cape,” as Warren would like to put it. After seeing her son’s body for the first time, she nearly falls apart. But Warren’s face literally sucks a tear back into her eye. Her energy shifts as she calmly demands a public wake for her son, so that the public can see the result of hatred and racism. “I felt like I was representing all the mothers who have gone through this recently,” reveals the actress, “That is the moment where you become a fighter.” In a world where hate crimes still pepper our nation, this series serves as a great reminder that each victim was a unique, beloved human. And their loved ones are left behind to pick up the pieces after they’ve been taken from the world. “When you see this, I hope you think about the family that was left behind,” says Warren. “I hope you think about the light that was taken from us.”

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UPLOADED Jun 17, 2022 2:41 pm