As a musician, Janelle Monáe is such an endearing display of pop stardom that it’s almost easy to forget she’s also proven herself to be a chameleonic actor. Whether breaking hearts in Moonlight or breaking down barriers in Hidden Figures, Monáe’s on-screen work is imbued with a real humanity, and that’s on display yet again in the second season of Homecoming. As Jackie, she plays a woman who wakes up on a boat with no prior memory of who she is or how she got there. Given that Monáe’s musical alter-ego Cindi Mayweather also undergoes a lost-in-the-world narrative in her earlier albums, we were curious if she had considered the similarities between the two characters. Of course, Monáe was more than a few steps ahead of us, and was eager to explain how Jackie’s story also mirrors our own current reality, an “alternate universe” in quarantine, as she put it. During our interview, the musician also shared how her work on Dirty Computer better prepared her for Homecoming, and told us—if given the chance—what other Julie Roberts projects she wouldn’t mind stepping into.
Homecoming season 2 will premiere all episodes on Amazon Prime on Friday, May 22.