Queen Latifah plays “Angela” in the new film MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN.
Matt Mungle: Hi, good morning. How are you?
Queen Latifah: I'm good. How you doing?
M.M: I'm doing great. First of all thanks for taking time to be with us. We're big fans of yours here on
the show. So it's a great way for us to start a Monday morning. I hope it's a great way for you to start
Q.L: This is a great way for me to start a morning, I'm looking at the sunshine, the birds are chirping…
M.M: Are you a morning person naturally?
Q.L: Absolutely not! (laughs) Lately I have been. I go through waves with being a morning person.
But I'm definitely a night owl.
M.M: We talk about the projects you're involved in, producing both executive wise and with other
features that you do, the live performing. With everything that you have going on you must be addicted
to staying busy because you added this role of Angela to your schedule. Why do that now with
everything else you have going on?
Q.L: Because the role was just so great. I mean, this story was just unbelievable when I read it. I knew
the people involved; T.D. Jakes, my boy DeVon Franklin over at Sony. From doing the talk show I see
him all the time. I know what he's trying to do. This role, I was, this is cool, I know you guys and
everything but let me read this script. When I read it I was thinking this is a magical story of this family
who goes through this unbelievable journey; challenged and pushed to the brink. They just pull together
to kind of get through this thing and their faith is tested in every possible way.
My character <Angela> is this person who sees this mom and this daughter, they're like down in
the dumps so I can see their going through it. I get to be this person who just brings all of this light and
energy and fun. I show them around Boston, and take them to aquariums and really kind of pick them
up when things are really tough. I'm one of the miracles that happens in their life, unwittingly I become
part of the whole journey. It's kind of cool to look back after you see the movie, you get to look back and
see all the sort of people who stepped in at the right time not even knowing what a huge impact it has.
You don't have to be a big person of faith to watch this movie, but it will just kind of show you
how the things you can do every day you never know how you're going to change somebody's life. It's
just divinely beautiful.
M.M: Talking about Angela, because you're right, she brings this happiness to a movie that could be
pretty heavy throughout, and she brings this light; almost a way to cleanse you palate. What I loved
about it is even as happy as she was, and as over the top as she was you still delivered her in a very
sincere way. She was believable, she wasn't clowny or over the top. How did you approach that to keep
that balance where she is so energetic, but still grounded enough that you trust her and believe her?
Q.L: You know what, honestly just the conversation with the director <Patricia Riggen>. She really
impressed upon me how important Angela is at this moment in their life. She said, “just bring what you
bring as Queen Latifah, what we love about you. Your energy, your positivity, your humor; this is stuff
that you do all the time and you need to bring that to this character”. I was, this is a no-brainer I can do
that because I tend to try to do that in real life with my own friends and my own family. I'm the person
when they're going through something really tough I crack a mean joke and then for a moment and time
we get to forget about how difficult things may be.
I think that's something everybody can do especially with this climate of everything being so
crazy in our country right now. A lot of negativity being spewed in every direction. To me you combat
that with love. You can find love in ways to say things to someone, and you can even just complement
somebody today. Try it, just say something nice to someone today. You have no idea how they walked
into work this morning or what they dealt with at home last night. How you can completely change the
trajectory of their life today.
I believe that's possible, because this happened for me many times. People have no idea. They
think, oh you're in Hollywood, you're a star, you got all this money that's what they assume about
people who do what I do. Listen, we have problems like everybody else. You never know when someone
just says something nice to you it kind of just brings you back down to earth and puts your feet on solid
ground. Gives you a reason to kind of push on through again.
M.M: I'm thinking early 90's like before Bone Collector, early on in your life. Were there people that
were that miracle for you when you were just starting in your career and wondering I'm a really
supposed to do this. Is this what I'm supposed to be called to do? I'm sure there were moments early
on. Were there miracles in your life that you think about that came through?
Q.L: I came through for just my own group of friends. Half of my friends when we started we were
all, most of us were stuck in those terrible recording contracts. It was a miracle that I didn't sign to
another management company and that me and my partner at 18 and 20 decided let's open our own
management company. Let's get our friends out of these deals.
I mean, what makes an 18-year-old think she can even pull this off. (laughs) Something in us told
us we needed to believe and we could do it and we did it. We got them all out of those deals. Got them
in much better deals and helped their lives change.
From my partner who's my mom, she was a teacher at our high school, she kind of took so many
kids under her wings and help to change their lives. I have all those sort of surrogate brothers and sisters
who are now successful people in so many ways. More so as human beings, not just as successful
business people or whatever their careers went on to be. They're actually just good people who want to
do the same for other people. It just kind of shows how you can really affect people in a positive way.
M.M: It is a privilege to spend a few minutes with you. I am excited about MIRACLES IN HEAVEN
coming out this week, especially on your birthday week, that's kind of cool? You're birthday coming up.
Q.L: I know isn't that crazy. This is going to be a good week. This is going to be a great week. I feel
very blessed to be doing what I'm doing. This is one of those films, I'm not executive producing it. I'm
not the biggest star in it. I get to do my part to make sure that it becomes a complete thing.
Sometimes we all just have to play our role. I was more than happy to play this role because this
is just like something really fun. Working with Jennifer Garner and Kylie, who’s the little girl who plays
Annabelle, it was just so much fun. Knowing of what they had to play and how deep they had to go and
how emotional it would be for them it really made me even more inspired to come to work every day
and kick it up a notch.
Audio link – http://www.mungleshow.com/latifah_mfh.mp3
Queen Latifah plays “Angela” in the new film MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN.