Exclusive: Nicki Dishes About Ice Age

No one, and we repeat no one, is keeping the music world fresher than Nicki Minaj these days. You never know what to expect with her or which Nicki you’re going to get, which is why we were so stoked to interview her! Nicki, whose real name is Onika Tanya Miraj, was super nice and so fun to talk to! She’s right in the middle of her first headlining tour (she opened for Britney Spears last year), but took time to chat with us about her first ever movie role; she lends her voice to the adorable mammoth Steffie in Ice Age: Continental Drift!
Find out about what’s going on between Nicki and Drake (well, their characters at least), what to expect on her worldwide tour and which of her famous friends she thinks should be cartoons in our exclusive Q&A below!

[TEEN] You just saw the movie, right? How was it?
: It was fun! It was funny and heartwarming. It was very, very intense in 3D. The teeth, jaws, and paws of the animals felt like they were right there in your face. But it was fun. I had a great experience. You play a wooly mammoth in the movie. We can’t say we necessarily saw you as that kind of animal as an alter ego for you! Were you surprised with the role? Were you excited?
: I was more excited than surprised. I didn’t care what they wanted me to play; I was definitely going to play it. I’m really, really honored to be a part of the movie. Even with just a small role, I’m honored and excited to be a part of something that’s been around for such a long time. I mean, this is the fourth installment, so it was a big deal for me. I think my character is pretty cool. She has a little flower in her hair. She is a mammoth, but she’s a beautiful mammoth. That’s so cool! In the movie, your pal Drake also plays a mammoth. What’s the connection between your characters? How do they know each other?
:In the movie, he’s kind of the popular guy and I’m kind of the popular girl, and I secretly have a little crush on him. I’m kind of like the loud mouth that tries to prevent him from liking another mammoth in the movie. A lot of other musicians lend their voice to the movie, like Heather Morris from Glee. What did you think of Glee’s cover of “Starships” they did on the show?
: I loved it! I’ve always loved their covers, and I was really honored that they wanted to cover “Starships”. They did a pretty good job. Do you watch the show regularly?
: I see it when I can.
Teen: Awesome! You’re known for having lots of alter egos; which of your alter egos would you say that we’ll most see in your character, Steffie?
: She’s mostly like… I think she’s mostly like Nicki. I don’t think she has any of the alter egos that the world knows. I think she’s more like the Nicki persona I created when I first came into the game with my mix tapes. Nicki is obviously one of your alter egos, so what’s the biggest difference between you, Onika, and the Nicki that fans know?
: Hahahaha! I can’t even believe you knew that name, Onika. Well, I think the biggest difference between Onika and Nicki is that Onika is more of a business woman and more of a thinker, but those are probably the only differences.

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Who is Nicki?

Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty (born December 8, 1982), known professionally as Nicki Minaj is a Trinidadian-born American rapper, singer, and songwriter.
Current Projects

Beam Me Up Scotty
Type: EP
Release: June 18, 2022

Unknown (feat. Lil Nas X)
Type: Unknown
Year: TBA
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