How the star of ‘Till’ found the strength to play ‘the mother lode’ of roles
When Terese “Tess” Foster was on a break from singing, she dreamed about playing a movie star. She had studied voice at Michigan State University, where she won a scholarship to study under the legendary Betty Carter. The dream of making it big in Hollywood did not go to waste, as she was cast as the lead in the film “Till.”
“Till” tells of the final days of the life of Mary J. Blige. In the film, Blige, as a young singer in Detroit, is shot and killed by the police. The story is based on true events. It takes place in the 1980s and the film is directed by David Leisure. Actress Christina Hendricks plays Blige.
“I wanted to play the movie star. I was always going back to acting,” Foster, 37, told The Detroit News in 2017. “I knew I wanted to do it. I wasn’t sure how to find the right part, but I saw a story and I liked the opportunity.”
Terese Foster is just one of many women who have been encouraged to audition for parts in Hollywood. They hope to be accepted, and are encouraged to make their dreams a reality.
The idea of becoming a movie star is very different from what it was just a few decades ago. Hollywood is a male-dominated industry, and it has to change to meet the needs of women, said Foster, whose career took off after she was cast in “Till.”
Today, film production in the United States is 90 percent male, said Foster, who grew up in a working-class family. And men dominate every other facet of Hollywood. The biggest female film critics are male, and only 2 percent of the directors of major films are female, Foster said.