Keke Palmer, Dolly Parton & Queen Latifah Drop Gems on ‘Joyful Noise’

Joyful Noise tells the story of an unlikely partnership between two strong-minded and extremely opposite women (Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton) who are forced to work together to save their Gospel Choir after budget cuts threaten to shut them down. VIBE briefly caught up with the film’s leads–Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan–to discuss why they think the film works.

Jeremy Jordan on the Musical Element

“All the songs in our show come from an organic place, like, how they would come in, in real life. There’s a few dream sequences but nothing in the show is how it would be in a traditional musical. It all comes from singing you would do in real life. I love a good musical but there’s something cool about the realism in Joyful Noise.”

Keke Palmer on the Musical Element

“I’m not a huge musical fan. It’s like when people just jump out singing, it’s not real. So I was like Joyful Noise is perfect because it’s done in an organic way.”

Dolly Parton on Returning to Film After a 20 Year Hiatus

“I’ve had a lot of scripts come along and I was at that period of time for a lot of women when I was too old to play young parts and too young to play older parts, until something good like this where I could play my age, have a grandson and still be young in spirit. I thought this was the perfect script for me. I thought this character was all the things close to me—she’s a sweetheart and she’s got big hopes, a big heart and big hair.”

Queen Latifah on Being Inspired by Dolly Parton

“Dolly was very much an icon to me growing up. The way she carried herself, and not to be crass, but to being very gifted up there [refers to chest] she was one of the people who I saw that really carried it well, with humor, grace, poise, talent, quick wit and so many abilities. She definitely inspired me, and I’ve tried to continue carrying myself a certain way in terms of how I feel about women and how we should be viewed and treated, through my raps and through my career.”