Blackamericaweb.com: Did those American influences help you approach the role of Sister, given all the girl groups like the Supremes that came out of the U.S.?
Carmen Ejogo: I don’t think of Sister being somebody that embraced the whole music thing like Sparkle did. She just wanted to be famous. My point of reference were certainly some of the more tragic stories from that era and even people like Amy Winehouse from our day and age. There is a lot about the journey of Sister that was very parallel to Whitney’s life. She talked about that and was very available to me and helped me to make my character more authentic in any way she could. She was surprisingly available and honest about her own journey if it would help any of us. She was very reflective on the set. I feel like she was at a place where she’d made her peace with the past and she was prepared to go forward. This was a project of passion for her. She adored the original as a 13-year-old girl and she brought a passion to the set that was infectious and really made all of us work so much harder.
Blackamericaweb.com: People have their favorite couples – Jay Z and Beyoncé, Will and Jada, but you and Jeffery Wright are the power couple for creative folks. Do you ever look across at each other and go “Wow, we’re both just amazing?”
Carmen Ejogo: (Laughs) I do in the sense that we’re both awesome parents. That’s what I cherish most. He’s an amazing dad and I strive to be a great mom every day. You’d be surprised; we don’t talk about work a lot. It’s all about being parents. (Laughs)That sounds so boring. But it’s what I gave up my career for. Before I had kids, the last project was “Boycott.” (The couple has a pre-teen son and daughter.) My focus shifted and willingly. My number one role in life is being a good mom.
Blackamericaweb.com: “Zero Hour” is your next project. What’s that about?
Carmen Ejogo: Anthony Edwards plays a skeptic who runs a [paranormal] magazine when his wife is kidnapped. I play an FBI girl who comes into the situation believing I know who’s behind it because 10 years ago, my husband was killed. It starts out in Nazi Germany. We’re dealing with cloning, we’re dealing with science vs. religion, we’re dealing with a lot of faith. I love TV and I’m excited. (“Zero Hour” heads to ABC in midseason in 2013.)