Exclusive: Naughton responds to Lil’ Kim controversy

01.14.09 9 years ago

Fox Searchlight

As peviously reported on HitFix, Grammy Award-winning rap star Lil’ Kim recently spoke out about her displeasure with actress Naturi Naughton portraying her in the new Biggie Smalls biopic “Notorious.”  During an interview in Hollywood today, HitFix asked the former member of the R&B trio 3LW to comment on the controversy that has broken suspicously close to the film’s release.

“There is always drama and there is always controversy and everyone isn’t going to like the role that you play.  Even the people you might be portraying. Unfortunately I can’t please everyone. [I ] can’t please everyone in how I play it,” Naughton says. “But I have gotten such great reviews from most people. Everyone’s been super-positive and supportive saying how great of a job [I did]. So, I try not to focus on the negative and when people say negative things, I have to let that go in and let it come right out because I worked so hard for that part and put so much into playing Lil’ Kim it’s not even funny.”

Naughton continues saying, “So, I’m hoping when she sees it, because I heard she hasn’t even seen the movie yet, it’s better to make the opinion when you’ve seen the whole film.  But, regardless of that I did my part and I know I did it well, so I’m not afraid to say that, regardless of what anyone has to say.”

The actress also discredits anyone who thinks this about the rapper trying to pull a publicity stunt close to release.  Naughton confirms what “Notorious” screenwriter Reggie Rocker Bythewood told MTV, that this has been known for some time.

“I think she genuinely feels this.  This is coming out for you all right now, but I’ve already known about it.  It’s not a stunt at all, it’s very real and it’s been going on,” Naughton says. ” I had to overcome some things while shooting ‘Notorious’ because fans and her and just various people were critical before even giving me a chance.  Before my first day on set.  So, I got this part. Fox believed in me, I’m here and I have nothing else to say about that.”

Earlier in the day, Kim’s representatives issued a statment to the Associated press.

Kim said, “The film studio and producers involved were more concerned about painting me as a ‘character’ to create a more interesting story line instead of a person with talent, self-respect and who was able to achieve her own career success through hard work.  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. Regardless of the many lies in the movie and false portrayal of me to help carry a story line through, I will still continue to carry his legacy through my hard work and music.”

Some solace for Naughton is that reports state Diddy, Biggie’s longtime friend, told her she did ‘good’ at the film’s premiere.

“He did,” Naughton says smiling. ” That I will confirm.”

opens nationwide this Friday, Jan. 15.

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