Eight-time Grammy winner Norah Jones changes her tune this spring, appearing on the big screen in Wong Kar Wai’s film My Blueberry Nights. But it’s not just a brief, nonspeaking cameo or quick turn on the mic. Instead, the novice thespian finds herself starring opposite vets Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz and locking ice cream-covered lips with Jude Law. “If I had known about the cast or storyline, I probably would have been too nervous to say yes,” says Jones.
CAMERA SHY: “I feel like I’m more of a musician and less of a performer, even in my music videos,” she says. “I don’t dance and look into the camera longingly. But since I made the film, I’ve definitely performed in my music videos more.”
IGNORANCE IS BLISS: “I had watched a few of [Wong’s] films, but didn’t really know anything about him,” Jones admits. “He asked me, ‘Do you want to act?’ and I responded by saying, ‘I don’t even know if I can.’” She started taking a few acting lessons, but Wong told her to stop. He wanted her natural jitters to come across onscreen as Elizabeth, a woman on a cross-country journey of self-discovery.
LEADING MAN: “I thought, ‘Jude Law? Are you kidding me?’ My first day of filming, I was paralyzed with fear.” Her kiss had its negative side, though. “My neck had a crick in it from leaning on it a certain way.”
LET IT BE: “I don’t have ambitions to conquer Hollywood. I’d rather think about it as something I’d like to do, rather than a full-time career,” Jones says. “This was such a cool experience, and if I never got to do it again, I’m glad I had my chance.”
This story first appeared in the March 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
UP NEXT: “My long-term goals are to come out with country and jazz records. I’ve written lots of new songs, but I’m not in a rush to put out another record.”