HOLLYWOOD -- Tracee Ellis Ross is expanding her grip on show biz. In her day jobs, she's one of the stars of TV's "black-ish"; she's also an executive producer on its spin-off, "mixed-ish". But Ross did find time to do a little moonlighting and she's now starring on the big screen in the new film, "The High Note."
Ross plays a pop star diva named Grace Davis. She can still sell out arenas, despite the fact she hasn't put out any new music in a decade. The singer would like to, except the cutthroat music industry only sees her as a dollar sign.
To play this role, the daughter of the legendary Diana Ross would need to sing... on-screen.
"It was time. It was time for that cat to come out of the bag," said Ross. "I spent many years letting that be a big dream that was tucked away. I don't remember when I decided that I should hide that part of myself. I understand why- there's some big shoes to fill and I was worried about comparison- but I think after a while, it wasn't really even conscious that I had put it aside. I just got busy and successful in other areas and then this movie came along, this script, and I chased it.
Ross says she was fortunate enough to achieve success in other areas of show business, both acting and producing. And then this script came along and she chased it!
"We are still in a culture that's dealing with sexism and ageism and racism and all of these different kinds of things and systems that are in place that don't allow everybody to be their full selves at all times," said Ross. "It is never too late to pursue who you want to be no matter where you are in your life, no matter what the circumstances are, not matter what people say to you, which I really identified with. And so I faced my fear and I sang!"
When Ross booked this project, she told her mom she'd be making a movie. She just didn't give her any specifics.
"But when I played her the music, it was really exciting. She cried! We both cried," said Ross. "We were holding hands and listening to it. It was very exciting."
"The High Note" is available on VOD on Friday, May 29th.
New movie 'The High Note' lets Tracee Ellis Ross show off her singing skills
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross sees her music dreams come true in her new movie 'The High Note'.