NEW YORK (Reuters) - Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones says an improvisational approach and a strong supporting cast helped overcome her nerves in her first acting role, in director Wong Kar Wai’s film “My Blueberry Nights.”
Hong Kong director Wong relied on improvisation as much as the script in his rich, deeply visual story of losing and finding love filmed across the United States — his first movie in English.
“He’s a very musical director, he goes by feel and instinct,” Jones said in an interview with Reuters.
The daughter of Indian sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar, Jones leaped to fame with her debut album “Come Away With Me” which won Album of the Year at the 2003 Grammy Awards.
Jones stars as Elizabeth, who embarks on a soul searching journey after she catches her boyfriend cheating on her with another woman.
The film, which opens in the United States this month after debuting at the Cannes film festival last year, has seen more attention than Jones had expected when she agreed to appear in “a little indie film.”
Attracted by Jones’ looks and cinematic voice, Wong approached her for the film without having met her and in spite of her lack of acting experience.
“I liked his film-making style. It seemed like the right opportunity to try it with the right person,” Jones said.
Jones was cast first and initially was nervous when she heard of the rest of the high profile cast, which includes Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz, though their experience helped put her at ease.
“Its like playing with a great band — they just make you look better,” she said.
Jones says she says she is open, if not in a rush, to act again.
“It would be fun to do it in a more traditional way with more preparation. I would love to see how much I could do, if I’d be really good at it or not,” she said. (Writing by Karen Brettell, editing by Jackie Frank)