Jurnee Smollett-Bell is back on the big screen for the first time in six years, starring alongside Vanessa Williams, Kim Kardashian, Brandy Norwood, and Lance Gross in Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.
In the movie, Smollett-Bell stars as Judith, a marriage counselor whose life becomes complicated after she has an affair behind her husband’s back.
“I honestly wasn’t concerned about how people would receive me as this character,” Smollett-Bell told theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon. “Because it’s not like she’s all bad… she’s very complex. And those are the elements that intrigue me as an artist; those shades of grey.”
Kim Kardashian c0-stars as Smollet’s stylish and opinionated co-worker in the film.
When asked to assess Kardashian performance as an actress, Smollett revealed that Kardashian was very eager to learn from Perry, and she thinks people should see the film and then judge her performance.
“She was so sweet to me on the set,” Smollett says of Kardashian. “She was very open, she wanted to learn from Tyler, she was so eager to really try to make this the best that she could. Honestly her character is kind of similar to her little sassy relationship that she has with her sisters, so Tyler and I tried to draw that out of her, and just pretty much told her to think of me as one of her sisters.”
In 2007 Smollett received critical acclaim for her role in The Great Debaters, a film which Denzel Washington both starred in and directed. Smollett says working with Washington was like “a master class in acting,” and attempted to compare her experience with Washington to being on the Temptation set with Perry.
“Great Debaters we shot in three months, Temptation we shot in 17 days,” Smollett said. “Tyler’s quick, but both know what they want. It’s really hard to compare the two because they’re so different with their approaches and yet they both know what they want. They both had a vision with an end result in mind.”
Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor his theaters March 29.
Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC