Jill Scott

Jill Scott on Screen: Exploring Her Acting Career


Dec. 24 2023, Published 5:05 p.m. ET

In a world where everyone strives to be the best at one thing, not many people can stake a claim to being exceptional in a multitude of fields. In other words, only a few people have proven exceptional multi-hyphenates.

This makes Jill Scott’s accomplishments as a singer-songwriter, poet, and actor much more impressive. She is a three-time Grammy Award winner, a New York Times best-selling poet (for “The Moments, The Minutes, The Hours”), a critically acclaimed and award-winning actor, and a producer. She’s a true multi-domain artist with an ever-growing list of honors to her name.

Her rise to fame was anchored on her exploits as an R&B artist. With a unique infusion of spoken word, hip hop, opera, and jazz into her style, she found opportunities to work with some of the biggest artists in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, including Will Smith, The Roots, Eric Benet, and Common.

She released her debut double platinum album, “Who is Jill Scott? Words & Sounds, Vol. 1” to a positive reception, earning Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist. Through the years, the 13-time Grammy award nominated has released commercially successful and critically acclaimed albums, including “Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds, Vol. 2,” “The Real Thing: Words & Sounds, Vol. 3,” “The Light of the Sun,” and “Woman.”

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Venturing into Acting

She started taking acting lessons in 2000 on the advice of director Ozzie Jones and made her first theatrical debut on Neighbors from Hell, a Tyler Perry production. She made her television debut in 2004 on Girlfriends as Donna. The same year, she made her film debut in Cavedwellers.

Since then, she has amassed numerous acting credits on television and film.

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Her Film and TV Roles

Scott has received dozens of acting credits since she made her debut in acting. Some of the most notable roles include:

As Precious Ramotswe in ‘The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’

In 2008, Scott was cast as Precious Ramotswe in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, the first time she appeared in a TV series as the main character. The series is a film adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith’s books. The 7-part series was broadcast on BBC1 and HBO in 2009, the co-founders of the project.

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As Hazel Rachelle in ‘First Wives Club’

Scott played the role of Hazel in First Wives Club, a comedy series based on the 1996 movie bearing the same name. The three-season series follows three main characters, Hazel, Bree, and Ari, who band together after their marriages fall apart.

As Nona in ‘Sins of the Mother’

Scott played Nona in Sins of the Mother, an alcoholic mother who neglects her daughter. The film’s plot revolves around the daughter confronting Nona, who is trying to recover and is “just focused on doing the best she can, one day at a time.” while exploring the impact alcoholism can have on families.

For her role as Nona in Sins of the Mother, she received the Outstanding Actress award in a Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special at the 42nd NAACP.

She has also done voice-over acting, vocalizing characters such as Storm and Ororo Munroe in BET’s X-Men and Beth/May Day in the “May Cause Involuntary Political Discharge” episode of Robot Chicken.

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