In 'For Colored Girls,' Janet Jackson Puts 'Her Walls Up'

'That was a tough thing for me, to drop the 'please' and the 'thank you,' just trying to get into the role,' she tells MTV News.

Tyler Perry's latest film, "For Colored Girls," is garnering a lot of buzz — both for being adapted from playwright Ntozake Shange's 1974 Broadway hit "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf" and also for the dazzling group of high-profile actresses Perry assembled for his cast, including Thandie Newton, Kimberly Elise, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Loretta Devine, Janet Jackson, Tessa Thompson and Whoopi Goldberg.

In transporting Shange's celebrated work from stage to screen, Perry selected 14 of the play's 20 poems and shaped them into a narrative that follows the lives of nine black women living in and around Harlem — all of whom are confronted with a range of crises, from love, abandonment and rape to infidelity and abortion.

Jackson plays a high-powered magazine editor in the film, who, to put it bluntly, is a witch on wheels. Given the fact that Jackson comes across as shy and soft-spoken in person, we asked her what she pulled from in crafting her hardened, hard-to-like character.

"Everything was there [in the script]," Jackson told MTV News. "I'm a lover of old black-and-white [movies], so I did a lot of research in that area, one in particular was 'Adam's Rib' with Katharine Hepburn. Her running this company, being the head and just the energy she carried. She's someone who has no time for niceties, really," she explained, adding that getting into that hardened place required putting distance between her fellow castmembers. "That was a tough thing for me, to drop the 'please' and the 'thank you,' just trying to get into the role, get into her head and doing that at home and in my world, that was kind of tough, but eventually it happened. [Laughs.] She has her walls up, for sure."

"For Colored Girls" opens Friday.

What do you think of Jackson playing a mean girl? Let us know in the comments!

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