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Nicki Minaj on her first movie role

She’s a mammoth movie star! Or at least, she voices a woolly mammoth named Steffie in ”Ice Age: Continental Drift.” Minaj talks to EW about her animated debut.

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How did your time at LaGuardia Arts high school (a.k.a. ”the Fame school”) prepare you for this?

Acting was my first thing, so it definitely paved the way. And even though this is such a tiny role — you know, in drama school they would’ve made me really study and do background and ”What is my character’s intention?,” all that type of stuff — I really just had fun with it. When they asked me [to do the movie], I was like, ”Are you kidding me? Are you crazy? Of course I’ll do it!”

In the movie, your character has a crush on Drake’s character, Ethan. Did that help with your flirting, knowing it was with your buddy?

I mean, it helps that I don’t hate him in real life. [Laughs] But when I saw the movie, I texted him as soon as I was out: ”You know what, you really look cute in this movie. You come across as really, really suave!” He just laughed. He actually saw it a few days [before me], and he texted me, ”You kept it so hood in this movie!”… Steffie has a lot in common with maybe one of my alter egos, but not with me as a person. And definitely not [the infamously scatological] Roman. He’s not fit for children.

Was Steffie’s voice something you already had in your toy chest?

Absolutely. That’s definitely one of those voices that I do around my team when we’re being goofy. Actually, it has shown up on a [single] that I have out called ”Beez in the Trap,” now that you ask. That little squeaky voice that Steffie has is kind of like the voice I’m doing on the chorus.

So what’s your spirit animal?

Maybe a saber-toothed tiger — they’re strong, they’re fast, and they’re dope to look at.