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1-20 of 22 items from 2015   « Prev | Next »


Why Can’t Queen Latifah Keep a Daytime Talk Show?

18 March 2015 7:00 AM, PDT | VH1.com | See recent VH1.com news »

Queen Latifah turns 45 today, and she certainly has a lot to celebrate. She’s a beautiful, talented, and award-winning entertainer (two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Grammy, plus an Oscar nomination for her role in Chicago) with a wicked sense of humor. She’s getting some early awards buzz for her portrayal of Bessie Smith in the upcoming HBO film Bessie (due May 16), so her acting return is on the horizon. However, with Latifah’s second self-titled talk show getting canceled in November — the last episode aired March 6 — it seems like she can’t quite conquer the couch-and-coffee world. She has all the equipment, so what gives?

The Queen Latifah Show’s first run lasted a little more than two years (1999-2001), and its recent reboot barely scraped the 15-month mark. Now, it’s not like the show didn’t have promise: the September 2013 premiere was the highest rated talk »

- Christopher Rosa

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Trailer Watch: Queen Latifah Sings Through Her Suffering in Dee Rees' 'Bessie' Smith HBO Biopic

16 March 2015 10:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

HBO has released a teaser trailer for "Bessie," the upcoming biopic of Bessie Smith from writer-director Dee Rees ("Pariah").  "It's a long road, but I'm gonna find the end," sings Queen Latifah as Smith, one of the most celebrated blues singers of her day. Smith, who was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, rose to stardom in the 1920s and was the highest-paid black entertainer of her time.  The trailer shows us some of the long road that Smith travels. While it is at times glamorous, as when the singer is giving dazzling performances for captive audiences wearing fancy period frocks, there's no shortage of bumps along the way, with suggestions of alcoholism, depression, and a volatile domestic situation. This preview footage makes no reference to the fact that Smith was bisexual, though it seems likely that this topic will be addressed in the course of the TV movie.  Indiewire reports that »

- Laura Berger

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Queen Latifah stars in first teaser for HBO's Bessie Smith biopic

15 March 2015 11:57 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Queen Latifah stars in the first teaser for HBO's Bessie Smith biopic.

Latifah appears as the legendary blues singer in the film, which is based on Chris Albertson's book of the same name (Bessie).

The biopic follows Smith's turbulent private life during the peak of her fame in the 1920s and '30s.

Michael Kenneth Williams plays Smith's husband Jack Gee.

Bessie also stars Mo'Nique as Ma Rainey, Khandi Alexander, Charles S Dutton, Mike Epps and Tika Sumpter.

The biopic will air on HBO on May 16. »

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Watch Queen Latifah emerge as the Empress of Blues in ‘Bessie’ teaser trailer

15 March 2015 10:44 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The latest in HBO original films will bring the story of legendary iconic blues singer Bessie Smith to life with an all star cast and a notable director. The biopic is directed by Dee Rees, best known for her award winning feature film Pariah about a young girl discovering her sexual and gender identity in the inner city. The biopic is executive produced and stars Queen Latifah, an actress who has proven herself as a musical performer in the film adaptation of musical Chicago and as a dramatic presence in the Television movie Life Support. Also notable in the cast are Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps, Tika Sumpter, Tory Kittles, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, with Charles S. Dutton and Mo’Nique.

Here is the synopsis:

Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in this HBO Films presentation, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees from a screenplay »

- Jean Pierre Diez

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Watch 7 Character Profiles From HBO's Dee Rees-Directed Bessie Smith Biopic

14 March 2015 6:04 AM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama "Bessie," which is directed by Dee Rees, from a screenplay penned by Rees, Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois.  With a story by Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues," one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s, offering an intimate look at the determined woman whose immense talent and love for music took her from anonymity in the rough-and-tumble world of vaudeville, to the 1920s blues scene and international fame, capturing her professional highs and personal lows, »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch 7 Character Profiles From HBO's Dee Rees-Directed Bessie Smith Biopic

14 March 2015 6:04 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama "Bessie," which is directed by Dee Rees, from a screenplay penned by Rees, Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois.  With a story by Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues," one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s, offering an intimate look at the determined woman whose immense talent and love for music took her from anonymity in the rough-and-tumble world of vaudeville, to the 1920s blues scene and international fame, capturing her professional highs and personal lows, and ultimate legend. The cast includes Michael Kenneth Williams as Bessie's husband, Jack; Khandi Alexander as Bessie's older sister, Viola; Mike Epps as Richard, a bootlegger and romantic interest; Tika Sumpter as Lucille, a performer and romantic interest; Tory Kittles as Bessie's older brother, »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Watch: Things Go Downhill Fast for Queen Latifah in Trailer for Dee Rees' 'Bessie' on HBO

13 March 2015 1:49 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Read More: 2015 Emmy Predictions: Best TV Movie Written and directed by Dee Rees, "Bessie" follows the life and times of legendary "Empress of Blues," Bessie Smith (played by Queen Latifah)."Bessie" also stars Mo'Nique, Khandi Alexander, Charles S. Dutton, Mike Epps and Tika Sumpter, promising high drama, great period costumes, even greater music and greatest-of-all performances. "Bessie" will premiere May 16 on HBO. Check out the teaser trailer above for a glimpse of Bessie's meteoric rise to fame and the subsequent drama and heartbreak through the gilded '20s and harsher '30s, all in just 30 seconds. Read More: HBO Teases Bessie Smith Biopic Footage in 2015 Highlight Reel »

- Rosie Narasaki

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Watch: First Teaser Trailer & Images For Dee Rees' 'Bessie' With Queen Latifah & Michael Kenneth Williams

13 March 2015 12:12 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Let's take a moment away from the buzz around "Game Of Thrones" season five, and the chatter swirling about Alex Gibney's Scientology documentary, "Going Clear," and talk about another HBO project that has nothing to do with popular bestsellers or investigations into celebrity-associated cults. Instead, let's take a look at "Bessie," an old school biopic that's coming with lots of style.  Helmed by "Pariah" director Dee Rees, and starring Queen Latifah, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mo'Nique, Mike Epps, and more, the film tells the tale of "The Empress Of The Blues," Bessie Smith, tracking her rise from a struggling young singer to the icon and one the most successful artists of the 1920s that she became. It's not often that old school blues artists get this kind of treatment, but few of them match the legend of Bessie Smith, and this looks like it hits all the right notes. "Bessie »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: First Teaser Trailer & Images For Dee Rees' 'Bessie' With Queen Latifah & Michael Kenneth Williams

13 March 2015 12:12 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Let's take a moment away from the buzz around "Game Of Thrones" season five, and the chatter swirling about Alex Gibney's Scientology documentary, "Going Clear," and talk about another HBO project that has nothing to do with popular bestsellers or investigations into celebrity-associated cults. Instead, let's take a look at "Bessie," an old school biopic that's coming with lots of style.  Helmed by "Pariah" director Dee Rees, and starring Queen Latifah, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mo'Nique, Mike Epps, and more, the film tells the tale of "The Empress Of The Blues," Bessie Smith, tracking her rise from a struggling young singer to the icon and one the most successful artists of the 1920s that she became. It's not often that old school blues artists get this kind of treatment, but few of them match the legend of Bessie Smith, and this looks like it hits all the right notes. "Bessie »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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This Teaser Trailer for HBO's Bessie Smith Biopic Looks Good! Check It Out!

13 March 2015 12:11 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

I smell Emmy Awards consideration for this one, later this year... Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama "Bessie," which is directed by Dee Rees, from a screenplay penned by Rees, Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois.  With a story by Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues," one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s. The premium cabler has announced will debut this spring, Saturday, May 16 at 8Pm. . "Bessie" is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard D. »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Get Ready for Queen Latifah in HBO's 'Bessie' (Video)

13 March 2015 9:45 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Are you ready to see Queen Latifah as the Empress of the Blues? HBO released a tiny teaser for "Bessie," and it looks excellent. Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in this TV movie from "Pariah" director Dee Rees, about Smith's beginnings in vaudeville, her extraordinary rise to fame in the Jazz Age, and her increasingly troubled personal life.

"Bessie" has an incredible cast and crew behind it, Michael K. Williams as Bessie's husband Jack, and Mo'Nique as blues legend Ma Rainey. Oliver Platt, Charles S. Dutton, Bryan Greenberg, Mike Epps, Tika Sumpter, and Khandi Alexander also appear in the film.

"Bessie" will premiere on HBO on Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. Est.

[Via Shadow and Act] »

- Jenni Miller

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2015 Emmy Predictions: Best TV Movie

11 March 2015 8:26 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Splitting the TV movie/miniseries trophies last year hasn't done much to improve competition on the movie side of things. Just once, it would be nice to get excited for the Best TV Movie category. Every year — including last year's "The Normal Heart" as well as every year before 2011 — it seems like one or two movies stand out from the pack while everything else is only nominated to fill the gaps. It's become the one consistently noncompetitive race in the field, and 2015 looks to be no different.  "Bessie," the Bessie Smith biopic starring Queen Latifah, will get prime placement from HBO, the undisputed network king of awards. Michael Kenneth Williams, aka Omar from "The Wire," co-stars and will hopefully compete well in the acting categories as he's been long overlooked for his commanding turns. Latifah and director Dee Rees will also help the campaign, assuring "Bessie's" front-runner status in the field. »

- Peter Knegt and Ben Travers

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2015 Emmy Predictions: Best TV Movie

11 March 2015 8:26 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Splitting the TV movie/miniseries trophies last year hasn't done much to improve competition on the movie side of things. Just once, it would be nice to get excited for the Best TV Movie category. Every year — including last year's "The Normal Heart" as well as every year before 2011 — it seems like one or two movies stand out from the pack while everything else is only nominated to fill the gaps. It's become the one consistently noncompetitive race in the field, and 2015 looks to be no different.  "Bessie," the Bessie Smith biopic starring Queen Latifah, will get prime placement from HBO, the undisputed network king of awards. Michael Kenneth Williams, aka Omar from "The Wire," co-stars and will hopefully compete well in the acting categories as he's been long overlooked for his commanding turns. Latifah and director Dee Rees will also help the campaign, assuring "Bessie's" front-runner status in the field. »

- Peter Knegt and Ben Travers

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In Addition to 'Blackbird' & 'Bessie,' Mo'Nique Also Headlines Ensemble Indie Drama, 'About' (Pics, Poster)

2 March 2015 11:42 AM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

In addition to upcoming turns in HBO's Bessie Smith biopic, and Patrik-Ian Polk's indie drama "Blackbird," both set to premiere this spring, Mo'Nique is also headlining another lesser-known indie drama titled "About," from Rareform Pictures, and writer, director, producer Vw Scheich, and co-writer Uyen Le. Weaving together 13 different stories, each based on real-life events, through extensive interviews with everyday people, director Vw Scheich collected pivotal moments in the lives of these people, each struggling with to get over some specific hurdle - loss, homelessness, addiction, and suicidal tendencies. Mo'Nique is most likely the best known of all the »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Get Your First Look at Queen Latifah and Mo’Nique in ‘Bessie’ Blues Biopic

25 February 2015 6:35 AM, PST | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

Queen Latifah will once again channel the roaring ‘20s as she embodies legendary blues singer, Bessie Smith, in HBO’s new biopic, which debuts on Saturday, May 16.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Queen Latifah

Bessie will tell the story of the singer’s transformation from a struggling young singer into “The Empress of the Blues” responsible for the chart-topping hit, “Downhearted Blues.” The film will also touch on Smith’s personal trials, which reportedly included an affair with fellow blues singer, Ma Rainey, and bouts with drinking leading to the singer’s decline during the Great Depression.

Latifah, who earned an Oscar nomination for playing Mama Morton in 2002’s Chicago, will be joined by a star-studded cast, including Mo’Nique in her first major role since winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Precious. The actress will portray Rainey, who was a music icon in her own right.

HBO

[link »

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Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set

24 February 2015 10:18 AM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

I smell Emmy Awards consideration for this one, later this year... Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama "Bessie," which is directed by Dee Rees, from a screenplay penned by Rees, Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois.  With a story by Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues," one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s. The premium cabler has announced, via press release today, that the film will debut this spring, Saturday, May 16 at 8Pm. . "Bessie" is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Mo'Nique Is the ''Sweetest Soul Ever'': Co-Star Tika Sumpter Gushes About the Oscar Winner After Story About Being ''Blackballed''

19 February 2015 5:46 PM, PST | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

So Mo'Nique's rumored reputation for being "difficult" hasn't preceded her everywhere. Asked about the splash her co-star made in The Hollywood Reporter this week, Tika Sumpter—who worked with Mo'Nique on the upcoming HBO biopic Bessie, about jazz singer Bessie Smith—didn't bat an eye, exclusively telling E! News that what she does know is that her pal "kills it" in the cable movie. Mo'Nique plays pioneering blues singer Ma Rainey, while Queen Latifah is the titular star. "She is going to be able to show everybody a whole other side 'cause she is playing a real life jazz, blues artist—the first lady of blues!" »

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HBO Sets Spring Premiere for Queen Latifah's Bessie Smith Biopic - a Project 22 Years in the Making

9 January 2015 7:22 AM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama "Bessie," which is directed by Dee Rees, from a screenplay penned by Rees, Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois.  With a story by Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into "The Empress of the Blues," one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s. The premium cabler has announced, via press release today, that the film will debut this spring, although a specific date isn't given. "Bessie" is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard D. Zanuck, Shelby Stone and »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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'Game of Thrones' Season Five Premiere to Spill Blood in April

9 January 2015 5:59 AM, PST | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

As half the nation is shrouded by below-freezing temperatures, HBO promised this week that "winter is coming" in the middle of April: Game of Thrones will return for its fifth season on April 12th. HBO tweeted the show's premiere date on Thursday, adding that acclaimed comedies Veep and Silicon Valley will also come back on the same day to bring some levity to what promises to be another bloody season in Westeros.

Before Game of Thrones launches its fifth season, fans can check out the final two episodes of Season »

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Queen Latifah Better As ‘Bessie’ At Age 44 – TCA

8 January 2015 4:31 PM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

The Zanucks first brought a project about Bessie Smith to Queen Latifah 22 years ago, Latifah said today at Winter TV Press Tour 2015. She was just 22 years old. She is in a much better position to play the role now, she insisted. "If anything I came to have a little more story," at age 44, Latifah explained. “When the project came my way, I don't think I had the life journey that went along with it. I got to live more of the blues." HBO's film about iconic blues singer… »

- Lisa de Moraes

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