*Mary J. Blige plays hooky from her Liberation Tour with D’Angelo this week and flew to Montreal for the start of “Betty & Coretta,” a Lifetime biopic of Betty Shabazz (played by Blige) and Coretta Scott King (Angela Bassett) in the wake of the deaths of their husbands, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.


“Right now it’s a little sad but I’m enjoying it… it’s the death of Malcolm, the death of Martin and the women trying to be strong and get through it,” Blige told Billboard of the early screen tests and makeup work she’s already done to look the part.

Having previously acted in this summer’s “Rock of Ages,” where she sang a standout cover of Pat Benatar’s “Shadows of the Night,” she clearly seems to have caught the acting bug.

“I’ve really been enjoying the whole experience,” she said. “It’s a lot of long days and months and weeks and you know, I’m working my way through it.”

In August, NBC announced Blige would be joining the new season of “The Voice” as mentor to Adam Levine’s singers.

As previously reported, she performed over the weekend at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, where she paired up with Prince for a memorable version of his “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Shooting for the “Betty & Coretta” biopic began on Tuesday.