Kelly Clarkson’s starring role in the film Ugly Dolls is her first foray into acting since featuring in the American Idol promo film From Justin to Kelly in 2003. Variety reported on a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times in which the singer opened up about the disheartening experience of filming the disastrous American Idol movie.
“It was a very miserable time of my life. I feel like it’s one of those things where ‘There are plenty of people that would love to do this — why don’t you ask one of them?'”
Clarkson hated acting, but had no choice but to do the film. It was part of her American Idol contract, one which included a record deal and a studio role.
“I cried. I talked to many lawyers and could not get out of the movie,” Kelly said of her feelings surrounding the filming.
A mindless, musical beach romp, From Justin to Kelly co-starred Clarkson and American Idol runner-up, Justin Guarini. The two portrayed a pair of young partiers who fall in love on spring break. Critics claim the film was conceived as an easy moneymaker and promotional tool for American Idol, which was — at the time — a top-rated show. However, the film bombed. It scored just 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and grossed only $4.3 million in theaters. According to Screen Rant, the movie won the Golden Raspberry Award for “Worst ‘Musical’ of Our First 25 Years” in 2005.
Sensing the impending disaster, Clarkson begged to release her first single, “Miss Independent,” prior to the release of the film. She received pushback from execs, but ultimately triumphed in the end.
“I begged them — since I had to do it contractually — I wanted my single to be released before the movie came out and I think that literally saved my career. It was ‘Miss Independent.’ The fact that that was successful, I think that overcame what the movie was.”
When Kelly Clarkson won the inaugural season of “American Idol” in 2002, her contract entitled her to both a record deal and a role in a studio film. The only problem? She hated acting. https://t.co/lALe9G2RhE
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) May 2, 2019
The Grammy winner admitted that other American Idol contestants would likely jump at the opportunity to star in such a project, but also confessed that while she personally didn’t find the movie embarrassing, she just wasn’t comfortable acting in it.
Though Clarkson has rejected several offers to act in the years since, she decided to change her stance when she was approached to be the lead character of Moxy in UglyDolls, a movie based on a popular line of children’s toys.
The pop star admitted that she typically gets nervous while acting, but couldn’t turn down the role — saying that being Moxy was essentially like portraying herself.
Clarkson is also taking on a new daytime talk show as the host of The Kelly Clarkson Show, which will be going into syndication in the fall.