Queen Latifah Talks Homophobia, Bill Cosby & Her First Nude Scene for HBO’s ‘Bessie’ in ‘UPTOWN Magazine’

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Academy Award-nominated actress Queen Latifah will portray American blues singer Bessie Smith in HBO’s upcoming biopic Bessie set to air May 16.

Ahead of its premiere, Queen Latifah sat down with UPTOWN Magazine
to discuss a myriad of topics, including Bill Cosby’s sexual assault
allegations, homophobia in the black community (and in society in
general) and her most recent ill-fated daytime talk show.

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Check out a few tidbits from the cover story below.

On her cancelled interview with Bill Cosby amidst countless sexual assault allegations:

“I would’ve absolutely had to ask him
about it because it just would’ve been too big an elephant in the room.
It’s unfortunate because he has done so much in terms of entertainment,
culture and black folks. But right is right and wrong is wrong. All
these women, all these stories, it’s just – what a big stain on such an
amazing career.”

On rampant homophobia in the black community and marriage equality:

“People’s ideas in general are
antiquated when it comes to who you love. We haven’t moved as quickly as
we probably should. And the reality is that there’s always been gay
people in the black community, so it’s not foreign to us. And not just
as a black community but just a society as a whole.”
“Who you choose to marry is really up
to you and it’s not something you should be judged on. I don’t find
being gay or lesbian to be a character flaw. Couples should be protected
under the laws of this country period. It actually angers me.”
On going nude for Bessie:
“I’ve never done that before. It was a
little odd but it was also a quiet, relaxing thing. Sometimes she was
so alone, and it was a moment for Bessie to acknowledge her
vulnerability, which I can completely relate to. When you get to strip
it all down and have a moment to yourself, sometimes the world comes
crashing down in that little moment, or maybe it’s a moment of peace. I
don’t find [this nude scene] any more uncomfortable than kissing a girl
in ‘Set It Off’ and sticking to the script. You have to take your mind
off of yourself and honor that character. Respect Cleo, respect Bessie.”

For more, head on over to UPTOWN.

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