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  R&B artist Aaliyah showed fans what she's made of with her kick-ass performance as Trish in Romeo Must Die, co-starring Jet Li. In fact, her first film appearance was so stellar that she earned two Movie Award nominations--Best Female Performance and Breakthrough Performance Female.  
 
  MTV.com: How does it feel to be nominated for two categories--Best Female Performance and Best Breakthrough Performance--for your very first film role?

Aaliyah: It's beyond words. When I did the film I hoped people would enjoy it and enjoy my performance, and to be nominated for that performance is really beyond words. And it's coming from the fans, and that really means a great deal to me. And it's two amazing categories, you know? So I'm very excited about it. I remember attending the awards last year and presenting, and now being nominated, it's really great.

MTV.com: Are you nervous about the upcoming ceremony?

Aaliyah: (laughs) It's funny, because I get a little nervous before everything, you know what I mean? I'm a bit of a shy person, somewhat reserved, so when it comes down to things like that I'm always a little nervous. But I guess it's a kind of excited nervousness. So it's a good kind of nervous, it's a fun kind of nervous.

MTV.com: What was the best part about playing Trish or being in the movie?

Aaliyah: The best part…was just being a part of such a great action flick, and working with the king of action, Mr. Joel Silver. I mean, you can't ask for more than that. And that was a lot of fun for me to be part of the action, to get to work on the wire, and fight with Jet [Li]. It just put the icing on the cake.

MTV.com: You've got three other movies coming up, right?

Aaliyah: Yeah, I finished Queen of the Damned, [based on the third novel in Anne Rice's "Vampire Chronicles"] and that should be out--I guess--the beginning of 2002, and I'm getting ready to start shooting The Matrix sequels.

MTV.com: Can you talk a little bit about your characters in each of those?

Aaliyah: Unfortunately, I can't talk too much about The Matrix because it's really top-secret, but my character's name is Zee. She's a bit of a spunky girl, but that's really all I can divulge as far as that's concerned. But as far as Queen of the Damned, I play Akasha, who is the queen, the mother of all vampires--the first original vampire. And she's very manipulative, very evil, very powerful, and she comes back….

MTV.com: So you get to be the villain in this one?

Aaliyah: Yep, I get to be the bad girl. It was a lot of fun.

MTV.com: Since you've got these three films coming up, do you see your career focusing more on acting, or do you think you'll always be a musician first?

Aaliyah: Well, I'd like to be considered as both. I want to be looked at as an entertainer, someone who can do it all. Both careers are extremely important to me. I just released my first single [from the new album] and the album will be coming out this summer, so a lot of this will be coming out at the same time. I don't really want to abandon one for the other. I'm just hoping I can do both, and it'll all be successful.

MTV.com: Who would you like to work with on your next film, after these three come out? Who would be your ideal co-star or director?

Aaliyah: There's so many people that I admire and would love to work with. I'd love to work with Gwyneth Paltrow, I think she's amazing. And someone whom I've admired since I was young is Morgan Freeman. So at some point in my career if I had that opportunity, that would really be great.

MTV.com: What's your all-time favorite movie?

Aaliyah: Silence of the Lambs.

MTV.com: Why?

Aaliyah: Huge Anthony Hopkins fan. He can do no wrong to me. He can transform himself, and he's just absolutely mind-blowing. And I read the book, and the movie was like--the adaptation was absolutely perfect. I'm into psychological thrillers. I kind of like to scare myself, and that movie was just--I mean, it was beyond words.

MTV.com: What will you do if you win both awards?

Aaliyah: I will be so happy. (laughs) If I win both awards, I probably will be speechless. I wouldn't know what to say, and it would just be motivation to work harder.

 
         

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