QUEEN LATIFAH IS ‘JUST WRIGHT’
Queen Latifah stars in JUST WRIGHT with co-star Common.
By B.J. Worthy
The Mid-South Tribune
The Mid-South Tribune ONLINE
And the Black Information Highway
NEW YORK, NEW YORK- I have always been a fan of Queen Latifah, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed interviewing her while she was on a press tour to promote her latest film, “JUST WRIGHT”, slated for movie theaters on Friday, May 14. Don’t get me wrong, I can still be objective when it comes to whether I like a movie or not—and this one, I loveddddddd. If you want an old-fashioned romance where chemistry between the potential lovers is hot—like on fire-- then you need to head for theaters and tell your friends to join you!
During an interview at the The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, I had to tell Queen that she really was a Queen. Not only has she been an inspiration to young girls and women of color but also she has been one to young girls and women across the color lines. What I also like is that she has made any ‘body’ type acceptable—she has been a role model in that she has shown young girls that no matter what size their bodies are, they ,too, are ‘queens’.
“I want to say to you, Queen, that you are a real queen. How on earth do you stay so grounded when you have achieved so much success, and I mean it has been great success?” I asked and continued, “You have been through the rap thing, the hip-hop, the jazz, the scat—and you’re not even old enough to know how to do all of that… and I feel I already know you,” I finished in a ‘you go, girl’ tone.
“I’m not perfect,” she said humbly, “and I know it. I’m constantly trying to grow my inner me… I know there is a lot more growing I need to do…I’m enjoying it. I’m a team player.”
She added that she would like to be a mother one day, but right now “I’m a daughter and I’m an auntie…and I’ll fight through whatever I have to fight through—not just to be fighting through it—and not just fight just to survive but also to thrive… I’m not just a survivor just to survive. I’m the type of person who will want to have some fun. I’m going to have some fun. I’m going to do things to be interesting. I’m going to make sure life is lived to the fullest.”
Even with sirens going on the street below jammed with New York traffic, the Queen remained unflappable and ‘serene’, and you can understand why when she begins to tell you about how basketball has brought about her composure. The word ‘composure’ is her mantra which she got from her high school basketball coach.
“Basketball showed me a lot of things, “she said. “One thing basketball taught me was how to be a team player and how to work in a group of people… and how people can accomplish one common goal… and that’s no different than what goes on when you’re making a movie. You can’t do everything by yourself. No man is an island. You learn to get a movie done. You can have a hundred and fifty people and you have to keep them going, move and motivate them … and they might not be getting the best [pay] check that they want… and they might be pulling in long hours, but everybody still has to fire all pistols to make it the best movie that it can be, and that’s not easy to do …sometimes it’s about letting people know you feel their pain…and … I’m in this with you, let’s all do this together. We’re doing something special…you have to stay and ride it out. It’s a team effort,” she stressed.
“Composure, composure, composure,” she repeated, snapping her fingers on a cool beat. “Basketball is quick, fast … [the coach] also drilled in our heads, ‘Don’t lose your cool under pressure, be composed’. Those words have sustained me in a lot of places throughout my career.” She said even when she is in a strange situation, even with strange or weird people, she keeps thinking ‘composure, composure, composure’ and here she broke into an easy laughter that was contagious to the small group of reporters surrounding her during this special interview. Even in laughter the Queen had composure, and that’s what makes this movie “JUST WRIGHT”.