In Monday’s (Dec. 12) episode of the “Jemele Hill is Unbothered” podcast titled “Naturi Naughton: The Last Woman Standing,” actress Naughton sat down with Hill to discuss her roles on television, personal life, and more.
During the interview, the former 3LW member admitted that it was difficult learning how to rap like Lil Kim for her role in Notorious. The 2009 project is a biographical drama film about the late Hip Hop icon The Notorious B.I.G, also known as Biggie Smalls. Lil Kim’s life revolving around her relationship with Biggie Smalls was showcased in the film.
“I was struggling,” Naughton said. “It was horrible and they were like, ‘Okay, we gon’ need you to go home, work on these rhymes and come back again, and you’re gonna do a second audition.’”
The “Power” star continued, “So I got a call back. I started practicing how I place my mouth and the sounds of my mouth and instead of, like, the brightness of Naturi like ‘Oh my God yay!’ Then I was like, ‘Lemme rumble with the beat. Everything became very husky and very deep.”
Naugton also told Hill that she enjoyed doing all the research she could on the Hard Core rapper. “She’s a phenomenal human and not even just artist, but her journey as a person. I had so much respect, I was so excited to do it,” she said.
My guest this week on @JHillUnbothered is @naturinaughton. We discuss her directorial debut, the amazing origin story behind her landing the role as Tasha St. Patrick, having to learn how to rap when she played Lil Kim, and what went down with her TV show, Queens. pic.twitter.com/PSITRyma1q
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 12, 2022
“Even though my relationship with Big was at times very difficult and complicated (as with most relationships we have all experienced at one time or another), it was also genuine and built on great admiration and love for each other,” Lil Kim said in a statement about how her image was portrayed in the movie. “Regardless of the many lies in the movie and false portrayal of me to help carry a storyline through, I will still continue to carry his legacy through my hard work and music.”
The movie, which was distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures, earned over earned over $20 million in its first weekend. It grossed over $36 million in the domestic box office in the United States and Canada and over $7 million internationally for a worldwide total of over $44 million on a $20 million budget.