*In addition to her song “The Living Proof” on the soundtrack for “The Help,” Mary J. Blige has two music-related film roles in the works, including one that will be her first ever starring role.

Due in 2012, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul stars opposite Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand in the ensemble adaptation of Broadway musical “Rock of Ages,” which is anchored by a soundtrack of classic rock hits from the 1980s including Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Asia.

“I don’t start shooting until July 25th, but we did the table reading and it’s good,” Blige told us during interviews for “The Help” in Beverly Hills. “I play a gentleman’s club owner, Justice Charlier. She’s very beautiful, she’s super fly from the 80s and she is the light in a dark place.”

As previously reported, Blige is also preparing to play Nina Simone in MTV Films’ forthcoming biopic about the legendary artist. Because of her “Rock of Ages’ schedule, shooting on the film was pushed back to October, but in the bonus audio below, Blige says she’s been doing exhaustive research on Simone, and shares how she personally relates to the incomparable singer.

Mary J Blige on preparing to play Nina Simone by CherieNic