Janelle Monae is already a force in music as a Grammy-nominated singer but she’s expanded her reach into acting with roles in two critically acclaimed films, Moonlight and Hidden Figures. For her, the move not only extends her reach on a career level but also it helps her achieve an even larger goal: to change
“I want to redefine what it means to be young, black, wild, and free in America,” she tells GQ magazine in a newly published profile and accompanying photo shoot. “I want to see more black people. Not just in films like Moonlight. Big-budget films, too.”
The success of Hidden Figures should help with the later. The film, which features a majority black cast, took down Rogue One at the box office after raking in $22.8 million in its first weekend.
The role in Hidden Figures was a pivotal one for Monae on a deeply personal level as well. The film brought her in contact with Mae Jemison, the engineer and NASA astronaut who made history by becoming the first African-American woman to travel in space in 1992.
“The best new person I’ve met was Mae Jamison,” Monae revealed when asked about her favorite things from 2016. “I was so happy to hug her and tell her how much I loved her.”
Read the full profile and see the pics of the always photogenic singer at GQ.