This is volume 6 of The Lily Mix Tape, a monthly playlist curated by someone we admire. Have someone you want to see featured here? Let us know.
When Moses Ingram walked onto the set of “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” she knew she would be working with her heroes, but she didn’t expect to walk into a room with them on Day 1.
After dropping by for a costume fitting, the actress found herself reading from a script alongside Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, as well as her on-screen counterpart Corey Hawkins and the film’s legendary director Joel Coen.
“Had I known, I probably would have over-rehearsed it in my bedroom mirror, so I’m glad it happened that way,” Ingram told The Lily.
Coen’s “Macbeth” is a simultaneously pared down and maximalist reimagination of the famous tragedy, which marks his first time directing a feature film without his brother, Ethan Coen.
Ingram plays Lady Macduff, whose husband is the one to ultimately kill Macbeth and thereby end his spiraling crusade for the Scottish crown. Long before that, Lady Macduff finds herself betrayed when her husband flees her family to consult with the king about Macbeth’s antics. But it’s not long before she meets a swift end when — spoiler alert — she and her family are murdered by Macbeth’s men (it is a bloody play, after all).
The Baltimore native, who played Jolene in the 2020 Netflix hit “The Queen’s Gambit,” said she often makes a playlist to accompany her roles, helping her get into character before scenes and develop more insights into their feelings and motivations.
To mark the release of the film, which premieres today on Apple TV Plus, we asked Ingram to make a playlist inspired by her character. (This story’s reporter has worked as an artist on a social campaign for Apple TV Plus’s “Dickinson.”)
Listen and read along with her commentary, lightly edited for length and clarity, below.
1. “My Little Love” by Adele
This song immediately cracks you open. It’s so vulnerable. When she gets into the voice notes of the conversations with her son, I immediately think of Lady Macduff with her son [who is murdered by Macbeth’s men in the play]. I don’t have children, but I can imagine having someone outside you that you love so much, and then trying to explain to them a situation they can’t begin to comprehend.
2. “Don’t Hurt Yourself” by Beyoncé, feat. Jack White
This song reminds me of the shock Lady Macduff experiences at finding out her husband [Lord Macduff, played by Corey Hawkins] has fled the state when everything is on fire and his kids are there. She obviously loves him, it’s not a question, but it’s like Beyoncé says in this song: Who do you think I am? Then in the song, there’s a reversal at the end where Beyoncé says: Okay I’m still here, but if you try this again, you’re going to lose your wife. That also feels pertinent to the story.
3. “The Only Exception” by Paramore
This song makes me think about the visuals in the film: the black-and-white color grade, the bareness. And related to this song, I would imagine having a husband who is always away can get lonely, even if you have people attending to you. I wouldn’t guess that is new for her, but I think Lord Macduff is a light in her life. He’s gone, and when he comes back, she realizes there is something more. The only exception.
4. “Lost One” by Jazmine Sullivan
Jazmine Sullivan is like a beast, and the vocals on this one take me out. In addition, this is a breakup in the song. And, of course, in “Macbeth” — spoiler alert — there is death, so much death. This makes me think of Macduff finding out about the death of his children and wife. There’s a lyric: “Don’t have too much fun without me.” I think that’s so sad, sort of like a message from Lady Macduff from the great beyond in this case.
5. “Let Me Go” by Mykal Kilgore
This song is in a similar vein because it’s also a breakup song. I don’t think they would be choosing to break up, but death is the greatest breakup in some sense. In the last moments of her life, she still refuses to give up her husband. I think that speaks to how much at the forefront of her mind he was. It’s like Kilgore sings in this song: “So just let me go / Cause I can’t let go / ’Til you let me go.”
6. “Shots Fired” by Megan Thee Stallion
This song reminds me of when Macbeth’s men show up to kill her. These are large men in front of her, and she’s like, “If it’s gonna go down, it’s gonna go down like this.” She’s by no means a runt of a woman, though. Like Meg, she’s strong, fierce and about her business.
7. “Resentment” by Beyoncé
Obviously in this song, Beyoncé is talking about a different kind of betrayal (cheating). But I do think Lady Macduff feels crossed, there’s no doubt about it. He’s still her husband and she still loves him, but it’s like Beyoncé sings: You could’ve told me you weren’t happy, you could’ve told me all of this was going on. I think so many times, especially in those days, women were shuffled off as if they couldn’t handle anything — but I think Lady Macduff thought her husband saw her differently. I think that would make her resentful of him in those last moments.