Joss Stone Joins "The Tudors"
Playing Anne of Cleves in the third season of the steamy Showtime drama "The Tudors", about the reign of Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and his many wives, soul/R&B singer Joss Stone is making her television acting debut. As the dowdy sister of the Duke of Cleves, fourth wife Anne has the defining virtue of coming from the heartland of the Protestant League, but their marriage remains unconsummated, despite Henry's best efforts.
The 21-year-old Brit, born Jocelyn Eve Stoker, has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, and won two BRIT Awards and one Grammy Award. Joss told us about her upcoming album, her role on "The Tudors", how acting is a welcomed challenge, why she likes to be barefoot a lot and if she sees a future in having both a singing and an acting career.
TeenTelevision: You're primarily known as a singer, so how did this come about for you?
Joss: I auditioned a year before, and I couldn't take the role I was auditioning for because I had a tour and everything got jumbled up. But then, it came about the next time around, and I will do anything that is different, so I thought I would try it.
TeenTelevision: This is your first acting role, and you play a character who has a lot of mixed emotions, throughout the episodes. Did you realize you were jumping into something pretty big, right away?
Joss: I prefer to do that. I like to go head-first into whatever it is, and give it a go. It's good to scare yourself a little bit. It means you work harder.
TeenTelevision: What was it about this show that made you want to be a part of it? Had you been a fan?
Joss: I love it! It's very dramatic, and it's very brilliant. Everybody looks great. Everyone has a character that's so much larger than life. It's a great show, and it's a great script, too. It's very intense. It's something I'd watch, and I wanted to be in something I'd watch.
TeenTelevision: What kind of research did you do for this?
Joss: I didn't really do any. I knew what went on. I went to school and they definitely taught us about Henry VIII. I knew about all the wives, just not deeply. I knew who Anne of Cleves was, but I just completely forgot that she was German. I'm so stupid. I get myself in so much trouble. I say yes to these things because I just like doing anything. But, I just wanted to interpret what he'd written. I had to leave the research at the door. It helps, but I just wanted to do what the director wanted. It's that simple. I just wanted to please them.
TeenTelevision: Was doing the German accent difficult?
Joss: It was difficult. The whole thing was a little bit different and a little bit worrying because I'm not used to doing it. I'm not confident with acting. You get more confident, as you go. But, I can't tell you that I know how to act. That would be a big, fat lie. I have no idea. I really don't. And, I don't really know how to sing. I honestly don't. I just make it up, as I go along, and see how it pans out.
TeenTelevision: Do you consider yourself brave then?
Joss: I think it's all bravery, to be honest. It really is. I like to scare myself a little bit. It makes it more interesting. You've got to go in, head first. There's no point in just putting your feet in a little bit. I get bored doing that. I'd rather do something that's just right there and then. If it goes wrong, at least I tried my best.
TeenTelevision: How was it to work with Jonathan Rhys Meyers? Did you do any love scenes with him?
Joss: We didn't get to do a love scene. There was no consummation. She was a minga. [not that great looking] Henry didn't want to have sex with her. They didn't want to consummate the marriage and, therefore, he was allowed to annul the marriage. Otherwise, it would have been a divorce, and him being Catholic made that a little bit of a problem. Then, he would have had to chop her head off and it would have been messy.
TeenTelevision: How did you feel about playing the wife that Henry didn't want to hook up with?
Joss: I wanted to play any part on this show. It didn't matter to me. I just wanted to be on it, to be honest. I had auditioned for another role, and then I couldn't take the role because I went on tour, and that was really gutting. So, I said to Beth Klein, who works at Showtime, and who's lovely, 'I know you're not casting for the next season right now, but what I'll do is keep these months free next year, so if you want me, just know that I'm free. If you don't, then it's cool. I'll have a couple months off and I'll sun myself somewhere.' I was lucky. I'm a very, very lucky girl. I haven't really had that much experience. They've just got a lot of faith. They've got more faith in me than I do in myself.
TeenTelevision: Does this mean you want to do more acting then?
Joss: If it's good. God, it might be s**t. You never know. I would like to.
TeenTelevision: What was the other role that you had auditioned for?
Joss: Jane Seymour. I was supposed to play the English rose, but unfortunately, I played the German minga. It was a blessing in disguise because I got to play something completely different to myself. If I'd have done Jane Seymour, I just would have poshed up my accent a little bit. I am an English girl, so it wouldn't have been that hard. But, dying in childbirth would have been difficult to play.
TeenTelevision: Because this show is based in history, you know ahead of time whether you're going to be divorced or executed. As an actor, how is it to know when your storyline will end?
Joss: It's good. You know what you're getting into. I knew I wasn't going to get my head chopped off, which was nice. I didn't have to go through that. It's nice to know, and it's good that you can look it up. Otherwise, you're just making it up.
TeenTelevision: Do you have a favorite person from history?
Joss: I don't really know that much history, to be honest. Mother Teresa was a good one.
TeenTelevision: What is more important to you right now, music or more acting roles?
Joss: I couldn't say which is more important. I enjoy both, obviously. If I had to choose, I would sing for the rest of my life, until I'm dead. But, I can do that, anyway. My singing ain't going nowhere. I can sing while I'm on set, for goodness sake. I can do what I want, when it comes to singing. That's inside. But, the acting thing comes and goes. They're making a movie on this date, and they're not going to be doing it next year. I'm always going to be able to sing. I'm never going to make that choice because I don't have to. I can do both and, hopefully, I will always do both. If I'm good enough, I'll do both.
TeenTelevision: Are you currently working on an album?
Joss: I've made an album, called Color Me Free, and it should be coming out in the Spring [or Summer].
TeenTelevision: Why is it called that?
Joss: I really feel like music is just another form of art. It's just placing different colors in different places, and to be free is a very rare thing. To be musically free is a very difficult thing to get, so you have to take that freedom, rather than be given it.
TeenTelevision: Is it a similar style to what you've done before?
Joss: It's soulful. We just jammed. Every track sounds very, very different. It's all live music. I like it. I had a good time. I had a good laugh.
TeenTelevision: You're known for doing your concerts barefoot. Did you act barefoot at all, to help you get into the character?
Joss: There were a couple scenes, actually, where I was barefoot because I was in my nightie. I had on that long nightie that they used to wear, and I did not have any shoes on.
TeenTelevision: Why do you like to be barefoot?
Joss: Honestly, I get very nervous. I love shoes, don't get me wrong. I think shoes are beautiful pieces of art, when you get the right ones. But, I don't want to fall on my ass. I'd rather just sing the song correctly and not fall over. Being barefoot lowers that risk for me. That's it. It's a logical thing. It's nothing deep.
TeenTelevision: Anybody familiar with your music knows how you immerse yourself in the soul of a song. Is there a duality between acting and singing? Did you find the common bond between the two?
Joss: I definitely did. When you're singing a song, you can't just sing it. You can't just make a noise, and go through the melody and the motions. You have to tell the story. So, that helped. You've gotta feel your way through. It's the same thing, there's just no melody. That's how I see it.
TeenTelevision: Do you find a rhythm in the words?
Joss: I try not to. Sometimes I do, and that's not good. You can't talk with rhythm. That's rapping. I try to steer away from that.
TeenTelevision: Can you talk about your fashion sense?
Joss: Oh, it's terrible. I don't really know much about designers. I just enjoy clothes. I enjoy colors. That makes me happy.
TeenTelevision: Do you have any other projects that you're working on?
Joss: I'm making hair dyes this year, and I'm going to try to attach one to Greenpeace because it's a green color. I'm doing six different colors with a company called Manic Panic. The first color is going to be red, and it's called Kiss Lips. That's with the Y Campaign for the Hard Rock, which is to stop world hunger. John Lennon's song "Imagine" is attached to that.