Queen Latifah has often found herself providing the wisdom in a film. Whether she's keeping the dancing Hairspray kids real dishing the life lessons at the Beauty Shop, moviegoers believe she knows what she's talking about. So, when Mad Money asked her to play the grounded, risk averse member of a thieving trio, Latifah knew what to do.
Queen Latifah Talks Mad Money
"Sometimes that is just what the role is," said Latifah. "I’m a woman with two kids, two boys at that, a single parent, and Katie’s [Holmes] character is married but they don’t have any kids. Diane’s [Keaton] character they are married but their kids are grown, and they don’t even call. They are disconnected. I really have a little more to lose, a little more to think about, and just having kids it kind of seasons you up to keep you alive and fresh in certain ways. They might not really quite spot that."
As an actor, Latifah earned raves from her director for recreating her performance in each take to the tee. The modest actress was just doing her job. "I don’t remember doing that. I try to keep things consistent, but obviously her directing she sees things I probably don’t even realize I do. I did see one angle of something we shot in Junior’s restaurant that was shot, it was a POV of my and then a cross over my shoulder onto Diane. I thought ‘Wow, I’m doing the exact same thing there that I’m doing there.’ That sometimes doesn’t happen. You cut to an over the shoulder and somebody’s posture or face is a little bit different. It’s something that is hard to match sometimes. I did notice that one time but maybe she saw something that I didn’t see."
Perhaps it is Latifah's musical background that lets her identify the beats so specifically. "Acting is very musical to me. I think that music plays a big part in the way that I act and even in the way I do ADR. Even the way that I overdub or lip synch my dialogue when we have to fix it for sound. My ears are just wired a little differently, having to harmonize or match things like unisons. When I am singing in the studio, or rapping, I guess you get used to doing that."
Working with Katie Holmes also let Latifah geek out over Dawson's Creek. Actually, she kept it professional. "I liked Dawson’s Creek. I thought it was a good show. I liked everybody on there. It was different. It was a breath of fresh air in terms of the stuff that you might typically have seen on TV back then. Plus it wasn’t shot here so it just had a different feel. That stuff has been off the air for a while. So has Living Single so she didn’t hit me with none of those and I didn’t either."