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Jade Ewen on playing Mariah Carey: 'All my life experiences were in preparation for this role'

The former Sugababes singer and actress opens up about her role in Netflix's Luis Miguel: The Series

jade ewen mariah interview
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
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Jade Ewen is no stranger to the spotlight. The 33-year-old singer and actress rose to fame representing the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest before joining girl group the Sugababes. Over the last ten years, she's become a fixture on the West End, starring in the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda's In The Heights and Aladdin and even had TV roles in the likes of Lovesick and Tracey Ullman's Show.

MORE: 7 great new shows to stream this weekend

However, she's now taking on the role of a lifetime: portraying musical icon Mariah Carey in the final season of Luis Miguel: The Series. As the brand new season lands on Netflix, Jade opens up about what it was like to play her hero.

WATCH: Luis Miguel: The Series season three is available to stream on Netflix

"I didn't know when I was first asked to audition for the role that it was actually based on Mariah Carey," Jade exclusively tells HELLO!. "I should have guessed at the time because they asked me to sing a verse of Mariah Carey's My All, which had a Spanish guitar in it.

"But I just thought: 'Oh, because the song has Spanish musical influence that's maybe why they've gone for that song'. I had no idea it was to play Mariah herself!"

jade mariah 4© Photo: Netflix

Jade has transformed into the musical icon for her role in Luis Miguel: The Series

Like many of us, Jade grew up adoring Mariah's music, but her connection to the award-winning songstress goes much deeper. "She was my first introduction to music, the very first CD I ever owned was the Mariah Carey album Daydream," she reveals.

"My mum gave it to me and I was so young then that I was still learning to read so I remember singing the words to her song and learning them by using the lyrics in the album sleeve."

jade mariah 3© Photo: Netflix

Jade grew up adoring Mariah's music

"In hindsight, I really feel like my life experiences were in preparation for this role. When I really got into the research, I realised she's a mixed race woman and she came from very humble beginnings and had a very difficult early life, similar to myself. I even sang My All at a show and tell at school, so to be asked to sing a verse of that for my audition… I just really feel like everything's kind of lead up to this moment."

jade mariah 1© Photo: Netflix

"I really feel like my life experiences were in preparation for this role"

As Mariah is not directly involved in the series - the producers work closely with the real-life Luis Miguel to bring the story to life - Jade turned to Mariah's recently published memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, to understand her character better. "Unfortunately, she only did a two page chapter on her relationship with Luis Miguel so I didn't get any clearer with that!" she laughs. "But the biography was invaluable because you really got a real sense of who she is."

Jade explains: "There was just so many moment when I was reading [Mariah's memoir] that I was like: 'Wow, I actually do know how that feels,' so that helped to take some pressure off of the mammoth task or playing her because I realised that all I need to do now is just approach this with absolute authenticity and truth."

jade mariah 2© Photo: Netflix

Luis Miguel: The Series season three is available to stream on Netflix

MORE: You'll never guess what Mariah Carey's unusual beauty secret is!

Jade's never met Mariah in real-life - and she's not sure she ever wants to now. "I don't know, I normally don't get fazed by meeting celebrities, but she for me is so special that I don't think I would be able to cope."

However, there's a good chance that, like the rest of us, the diva could be tuning in to watch the new season Luis Miguel: The Series when it drops on the streaming site on Friday 29 October, something that slightly terrifies Jade. "Fingers crossed she likes it!"

Luis Miguel: The Series season three is available to stream on Netflix.

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