SEATTLE — When Tracee Ellis Ross signed on to star in The High Note, she knew it would require something she’d never done publicly before: singing.
Despite being the daughter of Diana Ross, she lived with fears about being compared or criticized.
Finally – at the age of 47 – she’s proving she had nothing to worry about.
In The High Note, she plays Grace Davis – a singing superstar with diva tendencies, who wants to release new material despite being considered “over the hill” by label executives.
Kim Holcomb talked to Ellis Ross about the role, fashion, social media, and more during an at-home interview.
HOLCOMB: "I have to tell you, the opportunity to chat with you inspired me to get out of pajama pants and to put on something that I bought right before all of this started, which I've had no reason to wear until now: I put on my little cute heels.”
ELLIS ROSS: “Oh my god, that's fantastic - and your earrings are amazing!"
HOLCOMB: "Can you tell me one thing that you feel like you definitely have in common with Grace, and one thing you want people to be clear you do not have in common with her?”
ELLIS ROSS (laughing): "In common? My desire to share a piece of my heart, and to sing a different kind of song. How are we not the same? So many ways! I am not a music icon, I do not have my assistant do inappropriate and weird things for me."
HOLCOMB: "To that end, your assistant in the film is forced to do many things for you, including but not limited to: hiking, and then doing your Instagram post as though you'd done it yourself. So inquiring minds want to know, do you do your own Instagram posts?”
ELLIS ROSS: “I absolutely do my own Instagram posts, which I think most people can tell. (laughter) Because I share and reveal things and people are like, ‘Oh, that was interesting.’"
HOLCOMB: "When you finally did release your voice into the world, that felt like..."
ELLIS ROSS: “It literally felt like taking my heart out of my chest. It felt like I was like, ‘Here - this is my heart, please be nice to it.’ (laughter)"
HOLCOMB: "In the movie, when Grace is cleaning out her closet and donating it all to a thrift store I audibly gasped because I love thrifting. But I want to know, is there one thing in your closet that has such sentimental factors about it, you would never think of giving it away?"
ELLIS ROSS: "When I was in college, I used to go to the Salvation Army and that's where I would do a lot of my thrifting, and there was a little small brown school blazer, velvet school blazer. I wore it all through college… it was literally my prized possession, I think I got it for $4.50. And so that will stay with me forever."
The High Note is now available on all on-demand platforms.