Queen Latifah graces the cover of Variety.
Inside the issue, the raptress, talk show host, businesswoman, and Emmy-nominated actress talks about her connection to Bessie Smith, ending her talk show, the public’s fascination with her sexuality, and proving Michael K. Williams wrong.
Read a few excerpts from Queen Latifah’s cover story below.
On her common ground with Bessie Smith:
Latifah, who has been open about struggling with depression after the death of her brother in a motorcycle accident in 1992, says she found common ground with Smith. “I could relate to crawling up out of a bottle. I could relate to being depressed,” she admits. “I could connect to a lot of different experiences that she had, whether it was loneliness, whether it was being hugely successful, (experiencing) heartbreak, love, being in different relationships, being in more than one relationship at one time. All these things made sense to me.”
On paying her staff out of her pocket after her talk show was cancelled:
“The Queen Latifah Show,” her syndicated daytime talker for Sony Pictures Television, shuttered last year after two seasons. Latifah is still disappointed that the talkshow, her second attempt in the genre, didn’t run longer. Shortly after its cancellation, media outlets reported that she paid some staff members out of her own pocket through the holidays. “I don’t know how that got out,” she says. “Look, I was appreciative of how hard everybody worked, and felt we should be proud of what we did. It was bad timing, holidays were coming, and we wanted to make sure everyone would be OK through the New Year.”