This year the Academy invited an accomplished roster of new members who represent the diverse and impressive talent both in front of and behind the camera across the globe. We’ll be taking a look at some of our new members over the coming weeks, starting off with three who deserve a warm welcome.
Janet Jackson, as both an actress and a singer since childhood, has been a force in many fields during the course of her groundbreaking career. From Why Did I Get Married (one of the two Tyler Perry movies featuring Jackson) to Poetic Justice, Janet Jackson has been remarkable in movies as well.
For Janet Jackson, Poetic Justice was the first big-screen appearance. It came in the starring role, in director John Singleton’s follow-up to his classic Boyz n the Hood. Here she earned an Oscar nomination for her original song on the film’s soundtrack, “Again,” and the film has since become legendary for its pairing of her and Tupac Shakur (plus a cast that also includes Regina King and Maya Angelou) in the story of a South Central hairdresser and poet who copes with a recent tragedy thanks to a life-changing road trip.
Eddie Murphy went bigger and wilder with the sequel to one of his biggest hits, this time with Janet coming aboard as Denise, a DNA researcher whose engagement to Murphy’s Sherman Klump goes haywire thanks to his pesky alter ego. She also wrote and performed the song “Doesn’t Really Matter” for the film’s soundtrack.
Recent Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Tyler Perry welcomed Janet to his repertory of actors with this heartfelt and comic look at the joys and pitfalls of married life as several couples reunite and discover that it takes an awful lot to maintain a lifelong bond.
Janet teamed up with Tyler Perry again for this all-star adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s revolutionary theatrical staple about the challenges faced by African-American women in everyday America, in which each is represented by a different color ( Janet took on the role of the Lady in Red).