Mariah Carey set for first starring role, says director

Friday 24 March 2000

You can't exactly call it a film debut because voluptuously endowed singer Mariah Carey made a cameo appearance last year in The Bachelor. But come this June she will at last make the leap into feature films as a top-lined star. But now sources tell me that Carey has agreed to star in a film for Columbia Pictures called Glitter. The project is co-written and will be directed by actor Vondie Curtis Hall, best known to audiences as an anchor member of the TV series Chicago Hope. Hall left the show at the end of last season.
Hall, who I caught up with last night at a party for the Independent Film Project West, told me that Glitter is a story very much like The Rose and suggested as well by Madonna's relationship in her early career with producer Jellybean Benitez. Carey will play an up-and-coming singer who must deal with her partner/ producer/ manager. Of course, she'll sing in the movie. The male lead, still uncast, will not warble.
Larry Mark is signed on to executive produce Glitter, which will shoot in New York and Toronto in June-July. Can Carey act? First of all, she has studied extensively with acting coach Sheila Gray since Carey's divorce two years ago. Originally Mariah had signed on to do something called Double O Soul, but that project has languished. So Glitter has the potential to put her over much the same way Bette Midler and Whitney Houston made the transition to the big screen.
I say, let's give Mariah the benefit of the doubt and see what transpires. Hall is a smart, articulate guy and his directing debut will be highly anticipated. If he gets into trouble he can always call on his wife, Kasey Lemmons, herself the director of the fine film Eve's Bayou. One thing's for sure: Her current worldwide popularity makes Mariah a good gamble for any studio. So far she's been Teflon-coated when it comes to criticism or bad publicity. Nothing like a good publicist I guess. And an acting coach.


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