Gugu Mbatha-Raw felt more comfortable in her corsets for the colonial drama Belle than with the artificial nails she put on to play a pop star in writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights. ”I broke so many nails—they were always lying all over the place,” she recalls, laughing. But starring as Noni—a songstress torn between her calculating momager (Minnie Driver) and her attraction to a sweet security guard (Nate Parker)—required more than multiple trips to the manicurist. The British actress spent hours in the recording studio (”I sing on every track,” she says), learned numerous dance routines, and even took notes backstage at the 2012 Grammy Awards.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights (Suzanne Tenner)
Posted August 24 2014 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Game of Thrones': Red Wedding actor breaks silence on surprise return
- 'Game of Thrones' producer on the return of THAT character
- Madonna fires back at BET after Twitter diss: 'I will shade you'
- Here's how Mindy Kaling pranked B.J. Novak on 'The Office'
- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros host vow renewal at N.C. show
- Hugh Jackman congratulates class of 2016 with graduation throwback pic
- 'Kung Fury' director teases a sequel
- The Best Summer Vacations in Movies
- See Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Photos From Disney Channel Original Movies
- Getting 'Close' With Nick Jonas: See EW's Exclusive Cover Shoot
- Carpool Karaoke: James Corden's Most-Watched Videos
- The Most Famous Swimsuit Scenes From TV and Movies
- See All of Entertainment Weekly's X-Men Covers