Mariah Carey back on film with 'Tennessee'


Seven years after making what is widely regarded as one of the worst movies ever, Mariah Carey is back with a road-trip flick.

But her new movie, "Tennessee," has little in common with 2001's "Glitter."

Premiering at New York's Tribeca Film Festival on  Saturday, it revolves around two brothers seeking their estranged father. On their travels, they meet Krystal, a waitress played by Carey.

"Mariah said, 'This is going to be refreshing for me; this is actually something that I want,' even knowing that it was a gritty, hard shoot," director Aaron Woodley said in an interview. "Some people even told me that they forgot it was Mariah Carey when they were watching the film."

In 2001, Carey released the semi-autobiographical film "Glitter," which was a commercial and critical flop. She also appeared on MTV's "TRL," nearly disrobing in front of a baffled Carson Daly, amid rumors of a nervous breakdown.

Carey, 38, has spent the years since atoning.

"The whole 'Glitter' experience was very, very hard to go through, but I learned a lot from it," she said.

In 2005, the Long Island, N.Y., native made a big comeback with her multiplatinum album "The Emancipation of Mimi" and won rave reviews for her performance in "WiseGirls," a comedy-drama that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

"She's not a diva and she came to work -- and work hard she did," said "Tennessee" producer Lee Daniels, who acknowledged: "People do feel negatively about her as an actor."

But that didn't stop him from offering her the lead female role. Daniels, producer of the Oscar-winning film "Monster's Ball," said he saw Carey in "WiseGirls" and decided "it was clear that she's a very talented actress."

Carey's new album, "E=MC2," shot to No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart, debuting with 463,000 sales in the week ended April 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan data. That was the best debut sales week of her career and the strongest of any artist this year. Figures for the week ended April 27 are out on Wednesday.

Carey's latest single, "Touch My Body," is her 18th U.S. No. 1 -- taking her past Elvis Presley -- and just behind the Beatles, who managed 20 No. 1 songs.