HBO's new biopic "Bessie," which stars Queen Latifah, chronicles the life of legendary blues singer Bessie Smith -- from her rise to fame to the expression of her sexuality.  The film's director Dee Rees stopped by HuffPost Live on Wednesday and explained how she portrayed Smith's queer identity through Tika Sumpter's character Lucille, one of Smith's love interests in the film.


"Lucille is a composite character, kind of a made-up character. I knew that Bessie had had relationships with both men and women, and I wanted to show her as a woman who took humanity on a case-by-case basis. She loved who she wanted to love," Rees told host Nancy Redd.


Rees also discussed the prevalence of queer female artists in the 1920s, like singer Gladys Bentley and comedianJackie "Moms" Mabley, who who dressed in typically masculine clothes, and were open about their relationships with women. As Rees put it, embracing a fluid sexuality was a "known thing" among such artists at the time. In fact, blues s...

Please reload

Featured Posts

Intrepid Artists International booking agency celebrates 25 years

November 19, 2019

Please reload

Recent Posts
Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Twitter Classic
  • YouTube Classic
  • Facebook Classic