H.E.R. says 'it's time to go full throttle' with acting career as she plots Hollywood takeover
"I've been so focused on making music but I think it's time now for me to go full throttle with acting," H.E.R. shares with EW on Friday while recently promoting her appearance in the family comedy currently available to stream. "I'm working on that right now, following my passion for acting."
Yes Day stars Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez in the roles of Allison and Carlos Torres, parents of three bright and often rambunctious kids who want an all-day celebration to do whatever they want (within limits) — and their parents have to agree.
H.E.R. appears as herself in a pivotal scene towards the end when Allison travels to a music festival where her eldest daughter Katie (Jenna Ortega) has run off without a guardian. The California native, born Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, is headlining the event and comes face-to-face with Garner's Allison just when they need each other the most.
"She was so sweet and so much fun," H.E.R., who sings the Four Tops hit "Baby I Need Your Loving" in the scene alongside Garner and Ortega, says. "We got to improvise a little bit. It really was just such a fun environment. She told me she loves my music, which is really cool. Plus, my band got to be a part of it with me, which was so dope. It was such a surreal experience for me."
While H.E.R. admits she has yet to give herself a "yes day" of her own — which she said would be full of affirmatives related to food — she is making sure she accepts projects she's most passionate about. Though she didn't appear in Judas and the Black Messiah in person, her song "Fight For You" was featured on the film's soundtrack.
"Judas and the Black Messiah was such an important story because it's so important to Black history. I was really honored to be a part of it and I had a lot of fun making the song because I was able to tap into that late '60s and early '70s vibe. I'm a soul baby, it's my favorite genre of music," she says.
"Being able to do something really musical for it and to be able to talk about what was happening then and connect it to what's been happening now with social injustice, was cool for me — bringing those two worlds together. At the end of the day, we're still fighting for a lot of the same things we were fighting for then. That's what I wanted to bring out in the song. It's very different from what I did for Yes Day."
H.E.R. knows how powerful media is, explaining "it's so important" because "we can learn so much" through TV, film, and music. She adds, "The truth is always hidden and it's our responsibility as creatives to bring it out. It's also important that it's also entertaining so you want to learn more."
Although H.E.R. may seem like a newcomer in the music industry, don't call her an overnight success.
"Even though my project came out in 2016, I've been working for more than 10 years," she says. "I've been signed to RCA/MBK since I was 14 years old so it's been a long time coming. A lot of people don't see the process, but it all feels like everything is finally paying off. It feels like I've received everything I wanted and more. There's always a grind that comes before success. I feel really blessed for it all."
On Sunday night, H.E.R. was honored with two Grammy awards at the 63rd annual celebration, including Song of the Year for "I Can't Breathe" and Best R&B Song for "Better Than I Imagined."
Even if she hadn't taken home Grammy gold, she says she's proud of all that she has accomplished thus far.
"I feel blessed to be nominated and recognized for some of the songs I wrote this year, especially because it came from a painful, anxious, and sad kind of place like with 'I Can't Breathe.' Now, I'm ready for Hollywood."
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