Grammy winner Mariah Carey and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lee Daniels (Precious) are developing a TV series based on her 2020 memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. Part of the book explores Carey’s traumatic upbringing and the hardships she faced as a biracial child.
“The constant question was, ‘What are you?’ not ‘Who are you?’” Carey said in an interview with USA Today. “It made me feel like a thing. It did not make me feel like a human being. That was mainly the reason I wrote [my memoir]: to emancipate my little girl self. And she’s never really left me.”
Now, Carey wants to expand on her story with Daniels, who she’s collaborated with before on the films Precious and The Butler. The project is still in the early stages of pre-production, but Carey already has an idea about the type of actress she would like to see play her on the series.
“I don’t think it’s about ‘cast the girl who sings the Mariah Carey style,’ whatever that is,” Carey said. “It’s about casting a great actress with a somewhat similar look and just making sure the acting is there. Because we have the music – they can sing along to it.”
Since Carey’s best-selling memoir follows her from childhood through adulthood, it’s likely at least two actresses would have to be cast to portray Carey. But maybe not. Now, 53, age appears to just be a number for the “Butterfly” singer.
“I did start very young, and there’s several passages of time we go through,” Carey said. “But I do not acknowledge time. Please make sure the world knows my new rule: If I’m not allowed to ask any questions if I’m hiring somebody new, or if we’re not allowed to say this or that, no one’s ever allowed to put a number next to my name ever again.”
Carey adds: “Unless it says – parentheses – ‘eternally 12.’ If you can make that happen, then you’re the king of the world.”