From Girlfriends and Black-ish, it’s not a secret that Tracee Ellis Ross has been sizzling up the small screen for two decades. But why hasn’t she become a bonafide move star yet?
What We Know:
- In the trailer that dropped last Friday (Feb. 28), Ross plays Grace Davis, an iconic slightly diva-ish singer in her 40s coasting by on tour performing songs from a decade ago. With the help of her personal assistant Maggie (Dakota Johnson), she finds her voice and the courage to become the artist and woman she was destined to be.
- Ross recently told Entertainment Weekly, Grace is “at that point in her career and her life where that crossroad happens. Where I can keep doing what I’ve been doing because it works, and this is what everyone wants me to do or I can be who I am and let my real Grace Davis fly.”
- Ellis Ross’ character explains, “It’s really bleak out there for middle aged singers,” addressing the sexism and ageism of the music industry. “In the history of music, only five women over 40 have ever had a number one hit and only one of them was black.”
- The trailer opens with Grace and her back up singers rehearsing on an empty stage. “Where are we?” she asks before Maggie tells her that the show is in Detroit. The clip then cuts to the sold-out show, where Grace screams, “I can’t hear you, Detroit!”
- When Grace’s management suggest she does a residency in Las Vegas, the singer reveals that she wants to record her first album in a decade.
- “It was so much fun to be working in a different world and a different genre. It was also terrifying for me to face my dreams; I was so scared to sing!” Ross said to EW regarding the six original songs she’ll sing as Grace in the Nisha Ganatra-directed movie. As the daughter of legend Diana Ross, the audience will be delightfully surprised by Ellis Ross’ voice and style.
- While it might be natural for many of us to believe she was channeling her inner Diana Ross, for the role of Grace, that wasn’t the case.
“The only thing is that I always had the dream of being able to sing. But this character was so beautifully written, and the story really has nothing to do with any of the things that I know from my mom’s experience. Except for the fact that there’s a real humanity to this woman and she’s not a paper-thin-quote-unquote diva that the world usually paints larger-than-life women as. She’s a real person. That’s the only connection that I can draw.”
- Kelvin Harrison Jr., Zoe Chao, Bill Pullman, Eddie Izzard, and Ice Cube also star in the film.
The High Note hits theatres May 8. Watch the trailer below.