Tessa Thompson is back playing sultry songstress Bianca in the third installment of the Rocky spinoff Creed III.
HipHollywood sat down with the talented actress about the evolution of her character – who now not only is a pop diva and super producer — but also a mother and wife.
“In the beginning she was more like Jill Scott, Jasmine Sullivan. I was really inspired by those women who are also from Philly,” she explained. “I think now it’s a little bit more Rihanna. It’s more in that space of being an entrepreneur, being a businesswoman.
“I think that’s something that felt exciting to me. I’m also producing in earnest now and have my own production company like Mike too so it feels, there was a lot of symmetry in terms of where we’re at and obviously Rihanna is a mother now and what that means.”
Thompson says she didn’t shy away from giving input on her character, refusing this time around to use the popular Philadelphia colloquialism “jawn” as she did in the first two films.
“I did say she’s not going to say that word this go round. I did say that, I think we can let that go,” she laughed. “Because I was interested in someone that comes from that world and moves to L.A. and has been there for a while and the ways in which that effects her.
“We had joked about it, Mike and I, should she be drinking green juice and make more light out of her becoming more Los Angeles. But I think the offshoot of it is we do see her at a point where she is being more emotionally mature.”
In the film, set in present day L.A., Adonis Creed finds himself settling into retirement life outside of the ring, while Bianca is experiencing a career pivot. For Thompson she enjoyed exploring that journey with her character, and showing what that can look like for women balancing motherhood and career.
“I sometimes think women we aren’t given enough grace to be multi-faceted and to concentrate on different things in different times in our life, and it doesn’t mean we have given up on anything it just means we are taking in more and we’re expanding and growing,” she said.
“I even hear this narrative with Rihanna like where’s the music. I think Bianca is in that space in her life.”
Creed III in theaters today (March 3)!
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