Queen Latifah Opens Up About ‘Bessie’ Nude Scene And Prepping For Major Moves In ‘Uptown’

Movies & TV

Queen Latifah’s daytime talk show may be no more, but she’s got major projects in the works, the latest of which includes her starring role in the forthcoming HBO flick, Bessie. In the film, which releases on May 16, Latifah plays legendary blues singer Bessie Smith.

Ahead of its big release, the actress chopped it up with Uptown magazine about the film, being ready to properly play the role and about her first nude scene.

“I’ve never done that before,” she said about the scene. “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.”

In addition to baring it all on the big screen, Queen touched on a topic that continually swirls around her name: homosexuality and its lack of acceptance in the black community.

“People’s ideas in general are antiquated when it comes to who you love,” she said. “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. It’s not unusual so let’s be adults and let’s move forward.”

Well said. Read the entire cover story over on Uptown.

Photo Credit: Ari Michelson/Uptown