Tinashe Previews Fox’s ‘Rent Live,’ Says Mimi Is Still Very ‘Risque’

Tinashe Previews Rent Live I Love How Risque It Is
Brennin Hunt and Tinashe in RENT. FOX via Getty Images

Rent wouldn’t be Rent without “Out Tonight,” one of the most famous songs from the Broadway production, which features Mimi Marquez doing a routine at the exotic nightclub she works at. While the show is being adapted for TV – and will air during primetime on a Sunday night – don’t expect it to cut out the adult content.

“I’m very pleased with how risqué they’ve allowed us to be. It still has a lot of the topics that are definitely not necessarily children topics, but I think it’s important because they’re very relevant and we deal with them in a beautiful, awesome, fun, exciting way,” Tinashe, who is portraying Mimi in Rent Live, told Us Weekly at a recent L.A. junket. “I don’t think it’s bad or dark at all, even though it feels kind of dark!”

In the production, Mimi falls in love with Roger and, in a way, the relationship is at the center of many stories. Luckily, the “All Hands on Deck” singer, 25, and Brennin Hunt, who will play the former addict in Fox’s production, hit it off right away.

“It was like, ‘Nice to meet you,’ then, ‘OK, now make out,’” she recalled. “So, we would get to know each other like anybody else would, like, go on our lunch breaks together. … We would bond over our love of Michael Jackson. That’s how you naturally just build that chemistry and that trust.”

Tinashe Previews Rent Live I Love How Risque It Is
Tinashe as Mimi Marquez in RENT. FOX via Getty Images

The Dancing With the Stars alum is best known for her singing and admitted that she’s had a tough time with the emotional intensity of the Rent script. The story takes place in New York City in the ‘90s, following a group of twentysomethings figuring out who they are and struggling with addiction, sexuality and HIV/Aids. So, the subject material was much darker than the former Two and a Half Men star was used to.

“I still don’t think I’m as good at that as other, maybe more seasoned, actors in terms of getting to that emotional place every rehearsal because it is so heavy,” the “Vulnerable” singer revealed. “Sometimes it’s hard for me. If I get to that emotional place, it will ruin the day. The rest of the day I’ll be in my feels and some of our cast members are just really good at turning it on and turning it off. So, that’s just something that I’m working on — how to feel with these deep issues as a character and then still be able to go about my day.”

Rent Live airs on Fox Sunday, January 27, at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Carly Sloane

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