Queen Latifah is gearing up for the premiere of the HBO original movie Bessie, where she stars as “The Empress of Blues,” Bessie Smith. Some are calling this the performance of Latifah’s career where stars alongside Mo’Nique and Michael K. Williams.
The film premieres Saturday, May 16 on HBO and Latifah says she wanted to tell Smith’s story truthfully, and that includes the blues singer’s love of men and women. In the biopic, there are multiple scenes where Latifah’s character kisses other women, including Tika Sumpter who stars as one of Bessie’s lovers. There’s even one scene where she is completely nude.
In a recent interview with BET, Latifah says “I had to go to a lot of different layers, I had to let it all hang out. People will see me in a different way than they have as an actor.” Well we did have a peek at Latifah’s thug-loving in classic Set it Off.
Even though society has come quite far in terms of sexuality and same-sex relationships, there is still a significant amount of people who may be turned off or uncomfortable with lesbian and gay relationships shown on screen.
Latifah defends the scenes saying, “People feel a type of way when they see sexuality on screen. I think it’s almost human nature. People are so fascinated by it. It shouldn’t even be a discussion. But it is,” Latifah continues, “Because people are still curious, and people still wonder how they feel about things. At the end of the day, I don’t really care if someone feels uncomfortable. It is what it is, and it’s life. So you either deal with it or not. It’s just part of who she is, and I had to tell the story honestly.”
Are you exciting to see Queen Latifah bring the life of Bessie to the big screen? Sound off!