Janelle Monáe Says ‘You May Not Like What You See’ in ‘Antebellum,’ Which Is a Good Reason to Watch It

Janelle Monáe stopped by Good Morning America to talk about her new project, Antebellum. While speaking with the morning show hosts, Monáe explained that some viewers might not like the harsh realities depicted in the film, which could be the perfect reason to check it out.

Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe | Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

The ‘Antebellum’ trailer teases a twisted thriller

Antebellum stars Monáe as an accomplished writer who becomes stuck in a nightmarish situation. The official synopsis from Lionsgate Films reads as follows: “Successful author Veronica Henley finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality that forces her to confront the past, present, and future — before it’s too late.”

The film’s trailer begins with happy scenes of Veronica at home with her family and at work as a thriving professional. In a twist, the wordsmith is abducted and transported to what appears to be a slave plantation. Veronica seems to have unwillingly traded her independence and prosperity for a life of forced servitude under the thumb of a hateful slave owner.

It’s tough to guess exactly how the narrative will play out. But the preview for Antebellum stirs feelings of fear, confusion, desperation, and a nagging curiosity as to how Veronica ended up in that hostile place, and more importantly, whether she can reclaim her freedom and take down the brutes who targeted her.

Janelle Monáe called ‘Antebellum’ a ‘Reflection of America’

While on GMA, Monáe spoke in-depth about how Antebellum illustrates many truths about society. The artist confessed that some people may not like what they see in the film and explained why it is still worth watching. Monáe said this about the film’s themes:

This movie is a reflection of America. And America is many things, and we are many things. And my hope is that when people watch this film that they will be able to see themselves in here. And some people who watch it won’t like what they see. That means it’s time to deal with it. It’s time to be truthful, because the first thing that we need to do in order to change and to improve, as Americans, as accomplices, especially to help the marginalized voices and folks, is to hold ourselves accountable. So, yes, this is absolutely a mirror, and you may not like what you see when you watch it.

Janelle Monáe on Good Morning America

The star explained how she tackled the emotionally and physically demanding part


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GMA host George Stephanopoulos asked Monáe how she handled such an emotionally and physically taxing role. Without hesitation, the star said, “As an actor, you have to have your peace, you know, something that centers you, and I did a lot of meditation. I also called on the ancestors.”

Monáe continued, “I really did have to think about the heroes of the past. I had to think about women today who inspire me like Maxine Waters, Angela Rye, Brittany Packnett, [and] Angela Davis. You know, Black women have led revolutions for so many years, and my character, Veronica Henley, was inspired by all of them. And I wanted to honor the ancestors and honor the modern-day women who show up for us every day.”

Fans can stream Antebellum on all major digital and cable platforms beginning Sept. 18.

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