Naturi Naughton is definitely not a "little woman" any more. Diminutive in body stature, sure. Sweet and petite, yeah. But the former [artist id="610282"]3LW[/artist] member is not thinking small.
The singer/actress is ready for the next step of her career. Just erase all those memories you have of her as the cute, teeny-bopper singer. The New Jersey native isn't a child anymore: She's the Queen Bee.
Naughton plays [artist id="934"]Lil' Kim[/artist] in the upcoming Biggie biopic "[movie id="360770"]Notorious[/movie]," and not only does she bare all in the film (yes, nude scenes), the performer gets gristle-tough with her dialogue as the lone female in [artist id="13432"]Notorious B.I.G.'s[/artist] Junior M.A.F.I.A.
(Should Lil' Kim get her own biopic? Let us know in the Newsroom!)
But it wasn't so easy for Naughton to play naughty. She admits that her background didn't prepare her to inhabit Kim's character. The result was a bit of a grueling audition process.
"The physical part was only half the battle," Naughton explained. "When I walked in the casting, they really loved the way I looked. It was natural. I was tiny. I've always been this way. I used to hate it, but now I'm getting work from it.
"My first audition was not good," she continued. "The acting was cool, but I didn't come from the background like Lil' Kim. I didn't grow up rhyming; I grew up singing. So I had to go back home and learn the rhymes. It was an adjustment. I came back and killed it. I got the callback with the producer. Then I got the callback for the director, [movieperson id="197619"]George Tillman[/movieperson]. I got, like, five callbacks, but then I finally got it."
Other members of the hip-hop community have taken notice, with King selecting Naughton to grace the magazine's December cover. She was decked out as Lil' Kim alongside the cover line "The Notorious Naturi Naughton: Queen Bee for a Day!"
"The thing about Naturi's sexiness is that it's more mystic than aesthetic," explained King's Bonsu Thompson, who interviewed Naughton for the mag. "She is this sheltered and shy suburban girl, but she's also very much a natural exhibitionist. It's up to her viewer to discover whether, in the moment, they're getting her good girl or she's giving them her bad girl."
"Notorious" will mark Naughton's film debut. Her other acting work includes a role as Little Inez in the Broadway production of "Hairspray." She's scheduled to reprise her role in the Tony-winning musical after her "Notorious" obligations are fulfilled.
MTV News has some B.I.G. things on the horizon surrounding [movie id="360770"]"Notorious"[/movie] -- stay tuned for more this week!