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Interview with Queen Latifah, Craig Zadan and Neil
Meron of "Steel Magnolias" on
STEEL MAGNOLIAS CONFERENCE CALL
QUEEN LATIFAH, CRAIG ZADAN, NEIL MERON
Moderator: Devon Sanceda
September 24, 2012
7:03 pm CT
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by and
welcome to the Steel Magnolias conference call. During the
presentation all participants will be in a listen only mode.
Afterwards we will conduct a question and answer session.
At that time if you have a question please press the 1
followed by the 4 on your telephone. If at any time during
the conference you need to reach an operator please press
the star followed by the 0. As a reminder, this conference
is being recorded Monday, September 24, 2012.
I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Devon
Sanceda of Sony Pictures Television Media and Talent
Relations. Please go ahead maíam.
Devon Sanceda: Hi everyone. Thanks for joining the call,
especially those of you on the East Coast. I know itís
getting late there. But we have - weíll have a great
conference call for you. This is for Steel Magnolias, the
television adaptation of the iconic play and 1989 film. The
film will debut Sunday, October 7th at 9:00 pm on Lifetime.
Queen Latifah stars in and executive produces the film
reuniting here with the producing duo, Craig Zadan and Neil
Meron from the Oscar and Golden Globe winning Chicago and
The film is directed by Kenny Leon and features and all star
cast including Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Adepero Oduye,
Condola Rashad, Jill Scott and Alfre Woodard. (Anthony), we
can go ahead and turn it over to questions for Queen Latifah,
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron who will be answering them.
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen if you would like to register
a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your
telephone. You will hear a three toned prompt to acknowledge
your request. If your question has been answered and you
would like to withdraw your registration please press the 1
followed by the 3.
If you are using a speaker phone please lift your handset
before entering your request. One moment please for our
Queen Latifah: Hey Neil?
Operator: Our first question is from the line of...
Neil Meron: Hey (unintelligible).
Operator: ...Jamie Ruby with Sci-Fi Vision. Please proceed.
Queen Latifah: Sounds highly clinical, right?
Neil Meron: Yeah.
Jamie Ruby: Hi guys. Thanks so much for doing the call
Queen Latifah: Thank you.
Jamie Ruby: So the first question is for Queen Latifah. Can
you talk about kind of what youíve done to prepare for this
role since obviously it is, you know, one weíve seen before?
Craig Zadan: You havenít seen it before.
Queen Latifah: I basically...
Jamie Ruby: Well, you know, Iíve seen the original before.
Queen Latifah: Yeah. Jump in boys. Help me out because
Neil Meron: Well just to answer for Queen Latifah is I
Craig Zadan: Thatís Neil by the way.
Neil Meron: ...Queen Latifah - this is Neil - prepared for
it as any actress prepares for a role as if doing it fresh
and creating the character that was on the page.
Craig Zadan: Absolutely.
Jamie Ruby: Okay. And then I also wanted to ask can you talk
about how this version is going to be different than the
Queen Latifah: Boys, I think you can definitely approach
Craig Zadan: Yeah. I mean basically itís...
Queen Latifah: Thatís Craig talking by the way.
Craig Zadan: This is Craig. Iím sorry. Yeah, this is Craig.
Yeah, we approached it as though it was a new piece of
writing and weíre not doing anything to copy the original
production because the original play was amazing and the
original movie was amazing.
And we wanted to do something that was brand new and we
wanted to do something that would be done our way with our
cast and our production. And itís using the material as the
basis of that. And the same way as if you work in the
theater, you do what they call revivals.
And, you know, it may have been done originally the play
earlier, you know, on and then itís done later on with other
casts. And each production is relevant because theyíre done
with different directors, different producers, different
So we feel like what weíve done is fresh and different from
the original and yet as relevant as the original.
Jamie Ruby: Okay, great. And will we get to hear any of your
music on the soundtrack Queen Latifah?
Queen Latifah: I wish.
Jamie Ruby: You wish?
Queen Latifah: I wish. No. I mean it wasnít really about the
music. It was really more about performances. I mean if you
were to hear my music you might as well hear (Bill)ís music
and hear, you know, Phylicia sing and you would want to hear
Alfre sing because that would be - hold on one second.
Neil Meron: Sure.
Queen Latifah: Yeah. You would want to hear Alfre sing
because it would be the best worst thing youíve ever heard
which would be awesome. Sheíd probably be singing some, you
know, attempted Tootsie Roll music whether it be jelly roll
because thatís what she likes.
But no, I mean I think the music is going to be really
beautiful and really apropos to what weíre trying, you know,
really apply to the material. But I mean, you know, we could
make a musical out of it. Weíve been talking about it.
Neil Meron: Oh yeah.
Jamie Ruby: All right. Well thank you so much all of you.
Queen Latifah: How much do you want to cry or less you
Operator: And our next question is from the line of Reg
Seeton with www.TheDeadbolt.com. Please proceed with your
Reg Seeton: My first question is for Queen Latifah. Given
MíLynnís journey throughout the story how much support did
you receive from the other actresses in order to play her
Queen Latifah: Well first of all, I mean when youíre working
with veteran actors I - first of all, I received a great
amount of support. But I also tried to give a great amount
of support because we had a lot of young actors who are
extremely talented who you should watch, you know, in the
years to come.
I think we did a great job in casting this movie. Well Kenny
did a great job and we supported Kenny. But I think we got a
great cast who can do a great job. Hello?
Reg Seeton: Yep.
Craig Zadan: Weíre all here.
Queen Latifah: I hope theyíre still getting this.
Craig Zadan: No, everyoneís here. Everyoneís here.
Queen Latifah: But I think we got a great cast and the thing
about the support of it is of course I got a great amount of
support from our veteran actors. You know, in Afemo and
Phylicia and Alfre who I know all of them and theyíve always
But I think we got a lot of inspiration and also support
from the actors who have come after us and I think it was a
very, you know, very much a - it was almost like a whirlpool
of acting talent, love, support, pushing, you know,
challenging because itís not all about just a love fest.
Itís about challenging each other and really expecting you
to do your job, you know, at the end of the day. We all have
to show up and do our job regardless of our life
circumstances or situations. We just - we donít have to do
it with an attitude or whatever but, you know, maybe we do
You know, but it really - everyone understands that life
happens and we have to create a whole other life where our
life doesnít even exist. You know, our real life doesnít
exist, these characters exist. And that is our life. And
thatís who we are.
And so I got a great amount of support and on the off times
there was great conversation. Of course I mean how can you
have ďClair HuxtableĒ and not pick her brain? But sheís
super - sheís super - this is the worldís mom. I mean she
was the Michelle Obama before Michelle Obama.
You know, so itís like, you know, how can you have her
around and not pick her brain a little bit? But she is not -
sheís not Clair Huxtable. She is Phylicia Rashad and sheís a
different person and she has so many - so much more cool
points than Clair ever even had.
You know, sheís got all that and then some. And itís so much
more. And so I mean it was really about us all bonding
together to make sure we got the job done, to make sure we
really delivered for Kenny, delivered for Neil and Craig and
most importantly, delivered for you, the viewer.
That you could feel an experience that felt as real as it
possibly could because this material, you know, is so - itís
great in itself. And so everyone had to kind of show up and
do their best job and get off of, you know, your real life
and get into this life.
And so I think it was pretty awesome. I mean, you know, ups
and downs - the crew had to deliver. You know, the support
didnít just come from the cast, it came from the crew. It
came from everyone from the, you know, the person - the
security guard at the gate or the person turning on the
You know, the grips, the lighting, you know, our DP,
everyone, you know? So the support was, you know, everywhere
to accomplish something in such a short amount of time but
to make a great piece of work.
Reg Seeton: Great. Thank you very much.
Queen Latifah: Youíre welcome.
Operator: And our next question is from the line of Paulette
Cohn from www.Examiner.com. Please proceed with your
Paulette Cohn: Thank you. My first question is for Queen
Latifah. Youíve previously talked about your grandmother and
that she had diabetes.
I was wondering if that made this film a little bit more
personal for you since the character - your characterís
daughter in the show had the condition and that that was,
you know, what she died from.
Queen Latifah: No. It did in a sense but my grandmother is
so cool that you would never know. You know? Shelby is
trying to do more than she can ever - I mean Shelby is
really more like me in real life. Sheís going to put her
mind to something and go for it.
I donít care if she has to rappel from a five story building
or, you know, shoot some guns or ride a motorcycle or drive
NASCAR or just be a mama with five kids, you know, instead
of three or two and a dog. No.
My grandmother, she has a life thatís very stable and she
already raised seven kids so sheís like Iím good, you know,
Iím cool. No. Diabetes didnít really play a part in that.
What it did do though is because I know diabetes is just one
disease but, you know, when you have a family as big as mine
there are many things that affect my family members in many
So it could be high blood pressure, it could be cholesterol,
it could be obesity, it could be, you know, sleep
deprivation, you know, or sleep apnea. It could be so many
different things so, you know, an illness is an illness. You
know, and especially if it affects younger kids, you know.
If youíre prematurely born or if you have, you know, things
happening when youíre like a baby being born. If you have to
learn how to walk right or if thereís something wrong with,
you know, your gait or, you know, just, you know, physical
things that are happening.
Illnesses affect your family and they impact you because you
want to do the best you can to help your family member
become more healthy. Just - as well as my family members
want me to be healthy. So you - it doesnít have to be
But when thereís something that impacts a family member or
friend that is difficult for them you want to do what you
can to help. And sometimes you canít do anything and it
makes you feel like youíre kind of helpless. So that emotion
- those emotions, they cross a big barometer.
You know, boys you can jump in at any time.
Craig Zadan: Sure.
Queen Latifah: But I think those things cross a - theyíre a
big, broad stroke when it comes to, you know, someone who
you care about or even who you donít even know. It could be
a dog, you know, who doesnít have food.
You know, when it comes to someone who is feeling not at
100% or who doesnít have control over their health, you
know, you want - you care about that. And if you have
compassion in your heart you just care. So I didnít have to
have a relative with diabetes.
You know, Iíve had several, you know, but I think the most
important thing is really caring about them more so than
just oh, theyíve got a disease and, you know...
Neil Meron: Yeah, but what youíre saying is, you know, what
youíre saying is that it just lends itself to the universal
nature of what the film is about is that...
Queen Latifah: Absolutely.
Neil Meron: ...we come together when people are needy. When
people need you pull together as a community...
Queen Latifah: Exactly.
Neil Meron: ...and you help.
Queen Latifah: Yes. When thereís a need you show up. And it
doesnít matter what that need is.
Paulette Cohn: Okay. Well...
Queen Latifah: But it - if thereís a need you show up.
Paulette Cohn: And for Craig and Neil - thank you Queen
Latifah. For Craig and Neil...
Queen Latifah: Youíre welcome.
Paulette Cohn: ...you did mention the universal themes of
this. Can you talk a little bit about what you think those
are because you were able to, you know, recast this - not
recast this but cast this particular version of the story
with an African American cast as opposed to we had already
seen it with a White cast.
Neil Meron: Well I - this is Neil. I think that our point of
view is that we think Steel Magnolias is a timeless and
universal piece and it just works in whatever community you
set it in that you donít even have to underline it. It just
works. And I think that that really defines what classic
material it is.
And part of the reason why we also wanted to do it is
because, you know, women roles are written as well as these
roles. And we want to show off our great actresses.
Paulette Cohn: Terrific.
Craig Zadan: Also I mean in terms of - this is Craig. In
terms of casting I think that you have to understand that,
you know, we were looking at it again based on whatís on the
page not on whatís been done previously. So, you know, I -
when you see I - Iíll pick a name.
When you see Jill Scottís performance it does not make you
think of Dolly Parton remotely. She - Jill...
Queen Latifah: Right.
Craig Zadan: ...Scott is doing her performance as an actress
for that role as written on the page. And sheís not trying
to do Dolly Parton. Sheís not trying to recreate Dolly
Parton. And Iíd say the same thing goes for everybody in the
They created the roles and we cast the roles based on
finding great actresses to play those great parts.
Paulette Cohn: Okay. Well thank you so much.
Craig Zadan: Thank you.
Queen Latifah: Because letís be serious, none of us have
like an eagle ride in an amusement park okay? I wish we did.
Neil Meron: And none of you played a flying nun.
Queen Latifah: Hey. Come on. I mean you got to be a flying
nun - they need to get their Sally on.
Neil Meron: Thatís right.
Queen Latifah: You know, weíve still got a little work to
Neil Meron: Yeah.
Operator: And our next question is from the line of Lisa
Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Please go
Lisa Steinberg: Hi everyone. Thank you so much for taking
time to speak with us this afternoon.
Queen Latifah: Oh, youíre very welcome. Itís my pleasure.
Lisa Steinberg: Queen, Iíd just like to take a moment to say
thank you so much for being such a fantastically strong
female role model for so many women.
Queen Latifah: Oh, youíre very welcome. Iím trying my best.
Lisa Steinberg: Well we appreciate it. And I wanted to ask
you about the down time that you all had together. We talked
a little bit about this incredible cast and I wanted to hear
a little bit about the down time that you got to spend with
I mean did you all go out to dinner or, you know, spend home
at nights together, you know, making dinner with each other?
Queen Latifah: Well we shot this movie in 18 days. So
thereís not a lot of down time when youíre shooting
basically a feature film in 18 days. So, you know, a lot of
our down time was just hanging around the set and then
getting touched up.
I think some of the best of our down time was just being in
the makeup trailer - hair and makeup trailer together just
playing music and, you know, just kind of watching videos
or, you know, because Adepero and Condola were always on the
iPad and we, you know, sheís always playing Ms. Pac-Man on
her iPad and we - Iím always playing house music.
You might as well go to XM Studio 54. Iím taking them to the
club, you know. And, you know, and Alfre is telling us the
stories of things and crying because her kids are, you know,
moving onto college and running out the house and - but itís
Like it - our down time sometimes was just a little
conversation. And every once in a while we would pause and
just every once in a while we would just give pause because
we actually appreciate the fact that we were doing this film
which, you know, was - the fact that we were all together
that, you know, we had - we felt like we had come to a place
that was so important.
And we were appreciate - we would just sometimes just have
appreciation. Jillís birthday - Jill had her birthday like
barely into shooting, like maybe four days - two or four
days into the first, you know, couple of days of shooting
and we had, you know, we celebrated her with a cake and
But, you know, we were shooting at this church and we were
shooting kind of a serious scene because they were like
either wedding scenes or kind of cemetery scenes, you know,
like funeral scenes.
And - but we had like a cake for her and we just kind of
took a moment and we just kind of looked at each other. And
we thought wow, you know, this is pretty amazing. Like we
all admired each other so much.
But we all encourage each other as well and we thought about
things and we talked about, you know, Jillís son and I, you
know, Phylicia and I talked about kids, you know, her, you
know, parent experience and, you know, all that kind of
stuff, just regular, simple conversation.
It wasnít really - but then youíve got to count on Alfre to
be - to always be like the one thatís going to break up the
monotony. So Alfre would always - I mean this is monotonous
conversation, just regular conversations.
But Alfre would gather us together and say this is a serious
moment, I need to talk to you. We need - and sheíd pull the
whole cast, the whole crew and then sheíd say this is what I
want to say. Jelly roll. Jelly roll. And sheíd just break
into this dance.
And Iím like, you know, this woman is crazy like, so itís
kind of just like fun, lighthearted stuff. We didnít really
have time to get all into the, you know, should we go to -
where are we going to eat tonight?
It was - itís not the typical kind of movie because we had
to function on all pistons - we were firing on all pistons
and really trying to go there.
But then sheíd just break it up and then weíd just laugh
because we thought it was something serious and then weíd
just laugh and go right back into our serious work, you
know? So it was kind of like that kind of thing.
Lisa Steinberg: And Craig and Neil if you could talk a
little bit about partnering with Lifetime TV for the movie
as well. How did Lifetime come to land such a great remake
or - of the film and the play?
Neil Meron: Craig, do you want to take it?
Craig Zadan: Sure. This is Craig. Well basically we had the
idea of doing this production of Steel Magnolias. And we
spoke to Queen Latifah about it and she got excited about
it. And we decided to reunite because prior to this of
course Neil and I had the greatest experience of our lives
doing Chicago with Latifah.
And then we had the second best experience of our lives
doing Hairspray with Queen Latifah. And then we thought wait
a minute, two is not enough. We need a third. And now we
feel that we need a fourth. But we - so we decided that we
had done really fun and exciting and quality work together
as a team.
So we wanted to be together again and then we went to
Lifetime and we said, you know, we have this team, are you
interested in this movie? And without a secondís delay they
said to us when can you start shooting? You know, just like
and me - donít even talk to us about it. Just start
Just like schedule it, put it together, go. Go. Go make the
movie. And it turns out that this story and this piece is
Nancy Dubucís absolute favorite play and original movie. And
she thought that it would make a great new version for a new
generation with this cast.
Lisa Steinberg: Thank you all again for taking the time to
speak with us this afternoon.
Craig Zadan: Sure. Thank you.
Lisa Steinberg: Itís been a great honor.
Queen Latifah: Thank you.
Operator: And our next question is from the line of Monique
Jones with www.TVEquals.com. Please proceed with your
Monique Jones: Hi everyone.
Neil Meron: Hi.
Queen Latifah: Hello.
Craig Zadan: Good afternoon.
Monique Jones: Before I ask a question I just have to tell
Queen Latifah me and my sister are big fans of yours and
weíve watched, you know, you on Living Single and your rap
career and your HSN clothing line and so weíre just really
big fans of yours.
Queen Latifah: Nice. Thank you.
Monique Jones: And my question is well the movie is going to
be I guess really important for all people that watch the -
that watch Lifetime but especially for it to the African
American audience. And I was wondering if you ever
experienced any kind of push back from the film.
Because when some films are recast or not recast but cast
with minority actors and - but are usually traditionally
Caucasian roles thereís sometimes a bit of a thing with some
people. So have you had any kind of negative response or is
it mostly just positive?
Neil Meron: This is Neil. And I - if there is push back
weíre not aware of it. And I think more than most films
weíve done, you know, especially when - and I donít - I
think Queen Latifah experiences this. When we go out and we
talk to people theyíre so excited about seeing this film
because it means so much to them.
And especially that theyíre getting this new version is
very, very impactful. So no, I donít think weíve experienced
any push back at all.
Queen Latifah: I agree.
Monique Jones: Great. And how do you think - well youíve
been talking a lot about how the film is universal. How do
you think the audience - the Lifetime audience will receive
this film in general?
Queen Latifah: Well I think theyíre going to lose their
minds just based on the fact that my assistant who works
super hard 24/7 is a faithful, faithful Lifetime viewer like
you canít pull her off the couch on the weekends. You know
exactly where she is. Sheís at home. Itís so uncanny because
itís so not her exterior.
It so doesnít seem like her but if you want to find my
assistant on the weekends sheís on the couch watching all
the Lifetime movies all weekend long and - or any days off
that we have which, you know, weekends or it can be any
days. But sheís watching Lifetime.
And I think, you know, for Lifetime viewers, you know, the
die hard Lifetime viewers are going to absolutely love it.
I think though that thereís a new audience for, you know,
Lifetime viewers, you know, for non Lifetime, typically non
Lifetime viewers to, you know, take a look at something
thatís really special and find the network and find whatís
happening there and find real, you know, emotional
connections to what youíre watching rather than just some
like quick hit and go but something that really resonates
So I think people are going to really love it.
Monique Jones: Great. Thank you so much.
Neil Meron: Thank you.
Queen Latifah: Thank you.
Operator: And our next question is from the line of Michael
Gallagher with www.StayFamous.net. Please proceed with your
Michael Gallagher: Hi. My first question is for Queen
Latifah. Why did you decide to become involved in this
project as an executive producer and what was your specific
role aside from acting?
Queen Latifah: I got involved with this project because Neil
and Craig called me. I worked with them and I trust them and
if they love it and theyíre going to work - I know how hard
they work and how much theyíll put into it, I wanted to be a
part of it.
And my role I think outside of just being an actor was
really to help facilitate - helping to create a great cast
and then also to really create a great tone on the set. To
make sure that everyone was taken care of whether it was
cast or crew.
You know, you have to take care of your crew and if there
were things that needed to be dealt with that were critical
I was there on the ground to be able to see it in the -
maybe a different aspect than Neil and Craig were so I
could, you know, relay that to them or relay things to Kenny
My role is not to be, you know, the boss on the ground so to
speak or the director, you know, to wear everyone elseís hat
but really to be someone who sees things from the gaps that
need to be filled in my respect or from conversations that I
hear of things that need to be taken care of.
And thatís what I do. Then I take that hat off and I give it
back to them so that I can be an actor. So itís not to, you
know, kind of act like Iím, you know, running the joint, you
know? Itís a team thing. And thatís kind of where I come
from when it comes to wearing these two hats.
And of course to make sure that everyone knows about this
film, you know, about how great it is and what we did when
we, you know, what weíve made and what we want you to share,
you know, what - the experience that we want you to share in
Steel Magnolias. Thatís my part. You know?
So I have - itís not like a very clear one line version of
what I actually do but thatís primarily what you would see.
The rest is way behind the scenes that you canít get access
to bro. So, you know, back up.
Michael Gallagher: And then for Neil and Craig, what do...
Neil Meron: Yeah?
Michael Gallagher: ...you guys like about working together?
You guys have collaborated a lot with story line
entertainment so, you know, what makes you a successful
Neil Meron: This is Neil. I think we share a similar vision
and when our opinions differ I think it only makes the work
even stronger because, you know, thereís a lot of respect
and itís great to know that we have this mutual trust that
one can not be present and still feel that the mutual vision
is being executed in the same way that either one of us
And itís fun. You know, itís - we just love - we love what
we do and we love the projects we work on. And I - and
hopefully it comes through in the finished product.
Craig Zadan: I think also - this is Craig. This is Craig. I
think that the other answer that - is that Neil and I share
a desire for great quality in our work. And if we are
offered projects or we look at projects or consider projects
that donít have that quality then we donít do them.
So our first priority that we share is that the movie or the
TV show or the Broadway show or whatever it is, they have
the highest possible quality which is why we would never go
to Queen Latifah with anything without that quality.
We, you know, we would be embarrassed if we went to Queen
Latifah and said would you do this with us and we werenít
100% sure that it was going to be potentially really good.
So I think that Neil and I share that...
Queen Latifah: And thatís why I would take that job without
even having read the script first, all of that...
Craig Zadan: Thatís right.
Neil Meron: Thatís true.
Queen Latifah: No cast. No crew. I believe...
Neil Meron: Queen - yeah.
Queen Latifah: ...all of them. Put it like that.
Neil Meron: Queen Latifah actually did the same thing with
Hairspray. We had a lunch with her and she says Iím in. And
she hadnít read the script. She just believed that we were
going to make the best movie we can. And hopefully we
havenít let her down.
Queen Latifah: No. Youíve never let me down. And if I could
speak to them thatís what people believe. They believe that
they will do their - I think itís that high quality. Theyíll
beat each other up behind the scenes to the point where when
they get to us they know like okay, weíre locked in.
Theyíve got their eyes on the prize. Itís tunnel vision.
Weíre going to make this, you know, a success in every
possible way. But itís a - it comes from the heart. Thereís
passion. Theyíll not sleep at night. They will make sure
that itís right and make sure everyone is taken care of.
And I mean thatís important, you know, for someone who like
wants to just - you sign on sight unseen? Well yeah, when
you know who youíre dealing with. And these guys are the
Craig Zadan: Oh, thank you.
Neil Meron: And we love actors by the way. We love actors.
Queen Latifah: Sometimes...
Craig Zadan: We love Queen.
Queen Latifah: ...Neil needs a better pair of sneakers
Queen Latifah: ...as good as mine.
Neil Meron: Hey. You want my shoes.
Queen Latifah: He always - he be trying to battle me. He be
trying to battle me but, you know, my kicks look fresher
than his sometimes.
Neil Meron: Well, mine is...
Queen Latifah: And if his is fresher than mine Iím going to
Neil Meron: Dana mine is style. Itís all style.
Queen Latifah: I know. Youíve got (unintelligible).
Neil Meron: Very expensive scuff marks.
Queen Latifah: High quality scuff marks.
Neil Meron: Yeah, thatís it.
Operator: And our next question is from the line of Shauna
Henderson with Celebrity Baby Scoop. Please proceed with
Shauna Henderson: Hi. My question is for Queen Latifah.
Weíve heard you talking about adoption. Do you have any
plans in place to adopt?
Queen Latifah: Do I have any plans in place?
Shauna Henderson: Yes.
Queen Latifah: Are you trying to get the scoop girl? You
canít get that. Trust me. When you see me with the baby
youíre going to know Iíve got the baby. And itís going to be
my baby. It will maybe be a niece or nephew but you can
blame the baby on me.
Honestly Iíve always wanted to - no, honestly Iíve always
wanted to adopt since I was a child. You know, like I saw an
ABC special and Iíve always wanted to adopt since I was a
kid. You know, and I love Eight is Enough which you probably
donít even know that show.
But, you know, itís just - I know, right?
Craig Zadan: Yeah.
Queen Latifah: Itís like having a bunch - Iíve always loved
the idea of having like a house full of people. I mean
youíre the parents, where everybody can come and if
something goes wrong they can crash there and you just make
sure you call their parents to say your kid is here.
You know, like thatís just kind of, you know, how I
envisioned things. And I know Iím running a little late.
Okay. I know. But Iíve had a couple of things to do. But,
you know, Iím the parent to many people whether you realize
it or not. It just doesnít look like it from the outside
But I would absolutely adopt. You know, and thatís something
that I definitely, you know, see in the future just because
why not? I mean it doesnít have to be a baby but kids need a
home. So hopefully that will be a possible thing.
But I canít speak on anything particularly right.
Craig Zadan: As far as weíre concerned she adopted us a long
Queen Latifah: Yeah.
Craig Zadan: And weíre the luckiest kids...
Queen Latifah: Do you know how old my kids are?
Craig Zadan: ...in the world. Weíre her kids and weíre the
luckiest kids in the world.
Queen Latifah: Thank you.
Operator: And our next question is from the line of Stacy
Roberts with www.SeriouslyOMG.com. Please proceed with your
Stacy Roberts: Hi guys. I want to say that Steel Magnolias,
your version, I think is better than the original.
Neil Meron: Well thank you.
Craig Zadan: Well...
Stacy Roberts: Yeah. I mean it just - it blew me away this
weekend. And so...
Craig Zadan: Well thank you. Thatís very sweet.
Stacy Roberts: You guys have done several revivals both
musicals and plays. Which one is easier to adapt?
Neil Meron: Adapt what, for film?
Stacy Roberts: Well for film or television because you also
did Raisin in the Sun for television. And then, you know,
youíve obviously done several movies. But which is easier -
is it easier to redo the musical or the play?
Neil Meron: This is Neil. I think theyíre equally
challenging because what theyíre doing is basically
translating one medium to another. So you - and each one has
its own language so you have to find the language that
allows the original version to exist in another medium.
So I think there are challenges with everything. I would say
itís kind of a wash, plays and musicals. You have to give
them each the same amount of attention and thought about the
medium that theyíre going to be translated to.
Stacy Roberts: And I wanted to thank you guys for Sing. I
love that movie.
Neil Meron: Oh, thanks. That was a long time ago.
Stacy Roberts: Itís one of my favorites.
Neil Meron: Oh my god.
Stacy Roberts: Going back to Steel Magnolias, can you talk
about the casting and how you got like so many great
actresses to be part of this show - be part of the movie?
Neil Meron: Craig do you want to...
Craig Zadan: Iím sorry. How - Iím not sure that I understand
- could you repeat it just one more time?
Stacy Roberts: How did you get so many great actresses to be
part of the movie? Like what, you know, did...
Craig Zadan: Oh, Iím sorry. Iím sorry. There was clicking on
the line. I couldnít hear you. I apologize.
Stacy Roberts: Oh, no worries. I...
Craig Zadan: Well I think that we got such great actresses
because Queen Latifah said yes. And once we had Queen
Latifah onboard everybody wanted to be part of the movie.
Queen Latifah: So you know how much money they owe me right?
Craig Zadan: A lot. A lot.
Neil Meron: A lot of money.
Queen Latifah: Good.
Craig Zadan: No, so we, you know, everybody wanted to be
part of the project and so we would decide with Queen
Latifah who we wanted to go to.
And we went to certain - because, you know, we all worked
together as producers and we went to certain actresses and
luckily everybody said yes because everybody was really
excited about being part of it.
Stacy Roberts: Very cool. Thank you very much.
Craig Zadan: Thank you very much.
Queen Latifah: Thank you.
Operator: And our next question is from the line...
Queen Latifah: Now back to this adoption thing. No, Iím just
playing. Go ahead.
Operator: And our next question is from the line of Sarah
Fulghum with www.ThriftyDivas.com. Please proceed with your
Sarah Fulghum: Hi. This question is for Queen Latifah. I
love that you choose positive and inspiring work. What is
your personal criteria for choosing which projects to do?
Queen Latifah: Well first of all itís the quality of the
material and also itís whoís involved, you know, whoís a
part of what weíre going to do. And then itís also, you
know, I like to kind of service the full audience of America
at least. So I try to do things that are maybe just real
They donít have the most money but itís a great piece of
work. Then thereís like big, fun comedies, big animated
movies for kids like I want to do things for my nieces and
nephews. So I mean my - itís always been a kind of a full
circle moment for how I choose material.
But I think, you know, a lot of it is based upon, you know,
what the material is and then whoís involved, you know, and
who is it going to service. You know, because ultimately
weíre trying to deliver something entertaining to an
So as long as it can entertain the audience, if it makes me
laugh I think, you know, if it makes my, you know, my nephew
laugh or my niece laugh then I think itís good. You know, if
it makes someone laugh or cry then those things are good.
I mean itís a very varied, you know, I definitely service,
you know, my African American audience but I also want to
service other audiences, you know, of different cultures.
So if there are other cultural things that can be involved
in it I like to make it diverse because I grew up in New
York and New Jersey and so Iím used to growing up around a
different, you know, different cultures.
So if thereís something that can, you know, kind of be
involved in that sense I always want to, you know, give a
little something there. So it varies, you know, but
ultimately those are the main things.
As long as we service the audience, we give people the
entertaining night, you know, thatís kind of how I choose
Sarah Fulghum: Awesome. Youíre making great choices. Iím a
Queen Latifah: And of course I mean - go ahead.
Sarah Fulghum: Oh no. Go ahead.
Queen Latifah: No, itís just I always have like a woman
thing in there.
Sarah Fulghum: Oh yeah.
Queen Latifah: Somewhere.
Sarah Fulghum: Thatís probably like why Iím such a big fan
because I love your work.
Queen Latifah: Thank you.
Sarah Fulghum: And then for all three of you, since all
three of you produced this, what were the biggest challenges
to overcome to produce this new version of Steel Magnolias?
Neil Meron: You know what? This is Neil. I...
Queen Latifah: Location. Location. Location.
Neil Meron: Well location but, you know, I actually didnít
think about this or I donít think any of us did think about
challenges to overcome. I think it was just the challenge to
make the best movie we could. And, you know, I donít think
any of us really looked at the past.
We just looked at what we had. And what we had is something
that we loved and so we just made the best version of that.
Sarah Fulghum: Good answer.
Neil Meron: Well itís true actually. I mean we never said
oh, they did this before like this. No, we didnít. You honor
the material you have.
Sarah Fulghum: Exactly. Exactly. Thank you so much for your
time today. Iím so excited to see this.
Queen Latifah: Thank you.
Craig Zadan: Thank you.
Operator: And our next question is from the line of (Alan
Meester) from TV Guide Canada. Please proceed with your
Alan Meester: Sure. Hi guys. So first of all,
congratulations on the film.
Neil Meron: Thank you.
Craig Zadan: Thank you.
Queen Latifah: Thank you.
Alan Meester: So my first question is actually for Queen
Latifah. Iíve got to say, I thought the chemistry that you
had with Condola Rashad was, you know, really authentic and
I know you mentioned that you had kind of very little time
to, you know, to shoot this movie.
So what sort of things did you do to kind of create the
Queen Latifah: Well I just met Condola. You know, and we
just kicked it. You know? Sheís - weíre not our characters
in real life. You know, letís be clear about that. Iím not a
mama, you know, and sheís a very healthy young woman. So
itís not like we were, you know, really in real life our
So we just kind of met as La and Condola, you know? And we
shared bonds over music. She can sing amazingly, you know,
and we played music for each other. We played our - the
records we love.
And we listened to a lot of diverse groups and, you know,
and we just like talked and we talked about, you know, what
our visions were for things. But I mean sheís extremely,
extremely well practiced, well versed. I knew she would show
up for the job, you know.
So it wasnít even like just about that. It was just kind of
getting to know each other. And sheís a really, really cool
girl. You know, we didnít talk too much fashion, you know,
because weíre in different eras a little bit, not too much.
You know, we definitely cross - we cross each other paths in
a lot of different ways. And, you know, we talked about the
material, we talked about the scenes, we talked about how we
felt about our hair or our makeup that day. We just talked
girl stuff. And we just bonded like that.
And that was like - and that took literally a day or two.
And then - and it kind of just all fell into place. And, you
know, and we - and she would be like Mama and I would be
like hey baby. I would check on her because I just
automatically felt like a nurturing spirit towards her.
So I would check on her every day when I saw her. And when
sheíd see me even if we were like, you know, 50 yards apart
across somewhere sheíd be like Mama and I would be like
baby. You know? We just kind of were endeared to one
another. We were kind of like she reminded me of a younger
You know? And so she really felt like she could be my
daughter, you know. And Iím pretty sure she kind of felt
like I could be her mom even though we know who her mom is.
You know, so it kind of - we kind of felt that kindred
spirit and a fighter spirit and, you know, an adventurous
And so we connected on the attributes that we share together
even though weíre not related in that way. And we also
encouraged each other in certain ways and, you know, and
inspired each other in certain ways and all those things
happen in very simple conversations. And I felt protective
You know, and so if she wanted to try something I was like
okay, well go there but donít go there. You know? If it was
a club in Atlanta Iím like okay, well this spot is popping
tonight but donít go to that spot because you might need
security, you know?
It might be, you know, it was very simple, you know, just
simple conversations about normal things that really adhered
us to one another very quickly that made us also trust one
another very quickly. And to this day I trust her, she
I think we have a bond that will, you know, withstand it - I
think it translated through the movie. When it came to
professional things it was like okay, now weíre business,
now letís go to work.
You know, those were the personal things that gave us like
an underlying connection to really fulfill what was expected
of us on that screen through these characters.
Alan Meester: For sure. And I guess my next question is
for all three of you. Iím just curious if you guys have a
favorite scene or a favorite moment on set.
Queen Latifah: Can we say it?
Craig Zadan: Go ahead.
Neil Meron: Go ahead.
Queen Latifah: Kenny Leon has - he walks around with a
little box that says ďF**k You.Ē And he wonít say it himself
but he has a box that says it. And it sounds just great.
Iím telling you, it doesnít matter how tired you are, how
many hours we worked, when he presses this button it just
like breaks the mood. Like youíre having a serious
conversation and itís like what? Well that helped me out.
Neil Meron: Oh yeah.
Queen Latifah: Thatís not my favorite moment but that was
one of the...
Neil Meron: No, it, you know, not to sound to Pollyannaish
but it was one of the most joyful sets that Iíve ever
experienced because there was such harmony and such a
dedication to the work and such good spirits and great
material that it was a pleasure showing up every day.
Alan Meester: Okay. Thank you so much guys.
Operator: And our next question is from the line of (Rodney
Ho) with Atlanta Journal (Computation). Please proceed with
Queen Latifah: Oh snap.
Rodney Ho: Hey. Thank you guys for coming to Atlanta.
Thank you guys.
Neil Meron: Sure. We love Atlanta.
Rodney Ho: Drop Dead Diva. Footloose. Yeah, you guys love
Neil Meron: Yeah.
Craig Zadan: Yeah. We love Atlanta.
Neil Meron: And Queen Latifah has another show there too.
Rodney Ho: Thatís right. She was just there not too long
ago with Dolly Parton of all people. But, you know...
Queen Latifah: And my girl Regina King is shooting there
Rodney Ho: Thatís right. Well, you know, when I saw...
Neil Meron: Yep.
Rodney Ho: ...the cast list I made this horrible
presumption when I say Phylicia Rashad and her daughter that
they would play mother and daughter. Was that a really bad
presumption? Or did you guys go about casting in terms of
putting Queen Latifah as the mom instead of Phylicia?
Neil Meron: This is Neil. I think we chose the best actress
for each role. You know...
Rodney Ho: Okay.
Neil Meron: ...you think about - you - theyíre actors.
Theyíre actors first.
Rodney Ho: Yes. Yes. Thatís true. And in terms of the
length of the original movie in 1989 was 123 minutes long.
Just sort of a back to back - I watched the two movies back
to back and yours clocked in at 90 minutes which I guess was
for Lifetime purposes.
Did you guys have to trim down a lot of scenes or how did it
go - what was - was there anything truly difficult that you
had to cut out from the 1989 version?
Craig Zadan: Well you always have to, you know, you always
have to adapt for television when, you know, a feature film
can run any length of time because you can play in a
Rodney Ho: Right.
Craig Zadan: ...theater whatever the time the movie runs.
But on television you have a set amount of time and you have
to fit the movie into that timeframe and - including the act
So, you know, it was adapted so that, you know, we hopefully
did it artistically so that you felt like you got the
complete vision of the material.
Operator: Our next question is from the line of Stephanie
Reid Simmons with Amazon. Please proceed with your question.
Stephanie Reid Simmons: Hi. Thanks so much for talking with
us. So obviously this is a brand new vision, a brand new
imagining of this story people love.
Itís not the first time that youíve reimagined a classic and
I would just love to know your thoughts on balancing the
opportunities and maybe the obligations of reimagining
something like this and also something like the Oscars which
is in your future.
Queen Latifah: Oh yeah.
Craig Zadan: Oh yeah. That...
Queen Latifah: Iím excited. Sorry, Iím a little excited.
Craig Zadan: Letís see. Well first of all, you know, each
project is different. So you look at each project in a
different way and we, you know, we looked at this as a
wonderful classic piece of material that we wanted to adapt
with this cast.
And that was the priority and, you know, each time you go
into a different project you look at it in a different
style, a different set of eyes, a different purpose.
And, you know, so itís very hard to compare them because
theyíre so different and we felt like we were, you know,
treating this with respect and the way we wanted to make
this movie the way we looked at this movie. So thatís what I
have to say about that.
As far as the Oscars are concerned weíre just getting
started. So weíre very honored and proud that the Academy
asked us to produce the show. Weíre thrilled and weíre just
at the very, very, very beginning stages of planning what it
might be and putting ideas together.
So people say youíre not going to tell us and the truth is
weíre not going to tell because we donít know yet because
itís just - weíve only had the job a couple of weeks and
itís brand new for us.
So weíre moving along and hopefully weíll have information
in a month but we donít have anymore information right now.
Stephanie Reid Simmons: Are there things about Oscars past
that you would love to - I mean youíre doing your own thing
- youíre doing your - but that have inspired you? Moments
that you would love to have people feel the same way about
things you do?
Neil Meron: I would say - and not to be evasive but the one
thing that we love about the Oscars and the most powerful
moments of the Oscars are the emotions. And if anything, we
would like to have an Oscar ceremony that is emotional.
Stephanie Reid Simmons: So obviously Steel Magnolias is not
a musical although you teased us by saying youíve thought
perhaps of making a musical out of it which Iíd love to hear
But it sounds like no matter what youíre doing, the three of
you, no matter what youíre doing music in some ways seems to
inform your process. Would you say that thatís true and in
Neil Meron: Well Latifahís never heard me sing.
Queen Latifah: Well, you know, youíve got a line of a bunch
of bloggers. Letís go for it.
Neil Meron: Boom. No, no, no. Not today.
Queen Latifah: I say you start with a wee doo doo doo.
Neil Meron: Not today. Not even the wobble.
Queen Latifah: No. Thatís all right. Well I can say for
myself music definitely informs my emotions. And I can
literally play a song that will get me where I need to be
emotionally. I donít have to, you know, think about the
tragic things that happened in my life or the greatest
things that happened in my life.
I can just play a song that reflects that. And I think
thatís a good gift to have. You know? Because, you know, a
lot of actors have to really dig deep and go into deep parts
to their lives and I donít have to do that.
I can just play a song and itís great in - and - or itís not
so great or itís - it feels some sort of way that makes me
engage immediately. Maybe itís the harmony on that song.
Maybe itís the strings or maybe itís the, you know, the
horn, you know, or maybe itís a jazz song. Maybe itís a hip
Maybe Iíve got to go hard. You know? Maybe Iíve got to go
light and itís a hip hop song. But either way it can connect
you immediately and it makes it feel - it kind of actually
shortens the time to get into that emotion, an emotional
connection that you need to really portray whatever you need
So Iím actually looking forward to - and Iíve lauded Neil
and Craig already because Iím like thank god they got you
Craig Zadan: Oh.
Queen Latifah: Finally. You know, you got the right group -
you got the right guys because I mean if thereís an
emotional connection - otherwise itís just like, you know, I
donít enjoy - I mean I think we all work really hard to do
what we do. We have a lot of people to thank for what we do
and where weíve gotten.
But I think to inspire the viewer we have to share what we
went through, you know, to get there. And thatís not about
just linking 30 people. Itís kind of about the moment
sometimes. And you have to inform that moment for the viewer
and thatís what will keep them coming.
You know, so Iím looking forward to what theyíre going to
do. I know Iím putting pressure on them right now. But I
think if anybody can come through itíll be them. It will
definitely be them.
Stephanie Reid Simmons: Were you guys serious about the idea
of like letís say Steel Magnolias on Lifetime is such a
resonant, fantastic hit that people want more. Were you
serious about imagining it as a musical and what leads you
to think certain projects can - some projects could work...
Craig Zadan: No.
Stephanie Reid Simmons: ...could even work as a musical?
Craig Zadan: I donít...
Stephanie Reid Simmons: No?
Craig Zadan: I donít. Personally - this is Craig, I think
that what it is, is fantastic and weíre proud of it and I
personally donít see it as a musical. So I see it as weíve,
you know, weíve done our version of Steel Magnolias and
thatís as far as we want to go because we think itís
terrific and weíre proud of it and we love it.
And thatís sort of it. So there is no musical.
Stephanie Reid Simmons: And so one last thing which is you
talked about talking to Phylicia Rashad, a/k/a to many
people, Clair Huxtable and her cool points. And I would just
- I would love it if you could say a little more about the
interaction that you two got to have.
And you have kind of that similar - you both have that
sitcom experience and other - Iíd love to know more about
the cool points and maybe what the sitcom on your resume,
you know, brought for you.
Queen Latifah: Well for me not only does - Clair Huxtable
aside Phylicia always reminded me of my mom. And she still
does. She has like a very calming voice. She knows how to
talk to you in very subtle, soothing, calming ways.
But she knows how to give you that look that lets you know
weíre about to go to the bathroom and youíre about to get a
butt whooping, you know, when you mess up. So but sheís very
- sheís funny. Sheís amazing.
I mean honestly she really kind of reminds me of my mom so I
kind of felt like I had my mom on the set, you know, my mom
around me all the time because when she ever wanted to say
something to me or if I wanted to say something to her or
even with Condola, Condola got to do - it wasnít like a -
okay you do it like this and you do it like that and you do
it like this.
The ground work was already laid and they gave each other so
much space I felt - I kind of felt like I was seeing my mom
and myself. When you put so much into your child and then
you let them out into the world then you have to release
them but they always come home, you know?
And they always need your voice. And so for me it was almost
like having my momís voice, watching her interact with
Condola and there were, you know, certain things that I
requested like okay, what - is there something here - there
that you all do that can make these characters seem even
And there was a special thing that youíll have to look at
and find but it was really just having conversations with
her and talking to her about, you know, certain things that
sheís gone through during her career. But there - these are
very calm conversations.
And Iím not a, you know, Iím - I can be very hyperactive if
I need to be but I can be very calm when I need to be.
And itís nice to hear someone who you can talk to whoís been
through the gauntlet that youíve been through, whoís run
that gauntlet and can suggest things and also celebrate
things that youíve achieved. Because I donít look at my
career and say hey, I did this, I did that, I did this.
Iím looking at the next thing generally, you know. So I
donít really have time to celebrate all that. Iím already
off to the next 50 things that weíre trying to do.
So, you know, itís nice to like talk to someone who has that
same sort of mentality but, you know, they really can pause
and say hey, you know, (unintelligible) and really, you
know, give you some words of wisdom and say hey, youíre
doing good here. Maybe you should check out this here.
Maybe I suggest this here and itís nice because you trust
this person because you know theyíve been through it.
Theyíve gone through it and theyíre doing it and theyíre
celebrating life. Theyíre not like, you know, the gameís
over. No. The gameís only beginning.
You know, weíve got many, many more years. So I really
enjoyed working with her. I always respected her. It was an
interesting dichotomy to be with
Alfre and her, with Phylicia and then to be with all of
these younger up and coming and then Jill whoís kind of my
peer and musically sheís definitely my peer, you know? But
acting wise sheís my peer as well and she - weíre around the
same age group, you know.
And sheís been doing her thing and then to see, you know,
Adepero and Condola coming up and doing their thing it was
kind of watching the groups and then watching these boys and
then, you know, Afemo whoís this - heís like the core that
connects everyone because heís just like rock steady through
the whole thing.
So heís definitely on a higher level than me as well. I mean
I worked with him when I was like younger in, you know, my
20s or whatever. But, you know, he was too. But itís kind of
interesting to watch all of these things evolve.
With that being said she is amazing. She has a great way of
keeping, you know, keeping eyes on everything but keeping a
certain distance and really managing things but not, you
know, being overbearing or micromanaging everything you do.
You know? So it was pretty awesome.
Stephanie Reid Simmons: That is a lot of cool points. Thank
you very much. And Iím sorry, Craig and Neil I think you may
have kind of alluded to this but did you want to do this
project because youíve worked with Latifah in the past and
thought this is another fabulous opportunity to work
together? Or was it...
Neil Meron: We were attracted to the material and the first
person we thought of was Queen Latifah.
Stephanie Reid Simmons: Makes perfect sense. Thank you so
Craig Zadan: Thank you.
Devon Sanceda: Okay (Anthony) this is Devon. (Anthony) can
we - we need to wrap this up in the next couple of minutes
so can we ask the last question or two please - have them
Operator: And our next question is from the line of (Crystal
Sinter-Brown) with Linus Magazine. Please proceed with your
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Hi. This question is actually for
Queen Latifah. Iím actually a huge...
Queen Latifah: Again?
Crystal Sinter-Brown: ...fan.
Queen Latifah: Good.
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Again. Actually itís for all of you
but I want to know...
Queen Latifah: Boys, have my back.
Crystal Sinter-Brown: I actually watched it yesterday. Me
and my husband watched it yesterday and we loved it. And I
wondered how much freedom did any of you have to actually
make changes to the movie or to the script? I know that the
wobble was added in and texting.
You know, Shelby texting her fiance was added in. So Iím
just wondering how much freedom.
Neil Meron: This is Neil. We did have freedom to make
changes but what we ultimately wanted to do was to honor the
material that it was based on. So we tried to...
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Okay.
Neil Meron: ...respect that as much as we could while
updating it and making the changes that were appropriate to
setting the movie now such as texting and Facebook and also
the big change was now itís possible for women to give birth
So we had to make sure that there were other complications
involved that made - give - pregnancy risky. So we consulted
with doctors and then explored the idea of diabetes with a
kidney ailment which seemed...
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Right.
Neil Meron: ...to be very, very, very, very serious.
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Okay. And my other question is just
if youíve gotten any feedback from any of the original cast
of the first movie. I know this isnít remake but have you
gotten any feedback from Dolly Parton because Iím from
Tennessee and Iím a huge Dolly Parton fan.
And Iím wondering if youíve gotten any feedback from her.
Queen Latifah: Well did you ride that eagle?
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Yes.
Queen Latifah: That new ride in her - did you? You did?
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Yes maíam. Listen, I grew up in
Tennessee. So Dollywood...
Queen Latifah: Can we digress for a minute and...
Crystal Sinter-Brown: ...is one of my favorite places.
Queen Latifah: ...just talk about that new ride with the -
did you ride that ride?
Crystal Sinter-Brown: I have - no, I have not ridden it
Queen Latifah: That roller coaster?
Crystal Sinter-Brown: No.
Queen Latifah: Oh man. See thatís...
Crystal Sinter-Brown: I have ridden the indoor roller
Queen Latifah: Well she got the new one that came out this
summer. Iíve got to get down there and ride that thing.
Crystal Sinter-Brown: I havenít been home yet. Iím going
back at Thanksgiving. Yeah, you need to.
Queen Latifah: Okay.
Crystal Sinter-Brown: You need to.
Queen Latifah: So Thanksgiving.
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Thatís - you know what?
Queen Latifah: And she, you know, she can burn a pot. She
Crystal Sinter-Brown: I know.
Queen Latifah: She cooks every day. Okay. All right. So now
okay, let me back up off that though because you just sent
me into a whole other world. So listen, I want some Dolly
Parton cooking. I definitely want some of her - some chicken
gumbo, you know?
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Some biscuits and gravy.
Queen Latifah: Some dumplings. Oh yeah. I want some
dumplings and some fudge and I want to get on that ride.
Okay. Now well the movie hasnít even come out so how - we
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Right.
Queen Latifah: ...gotten any - I donít think any of us from
what I understand have gotten any feedback.
Craig Zadan: No.
Neil Meron: No.
Queen Latifah: But I donít think...
Craig Zadan: Because nobodyís seen it.
Queen Latifah: I really - no, no oneís even seen the film.
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Right.
Queen Latifah: ...honestly knowing a few of them I donít
think theyíre looking for us to, you know, knock them off
the block. Do you know what I mean? Like not...
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Yeah.
Queen Latifah: I mean itíd be great, you know, but thatís
not the attitude that, you know, weíre approaching this
with. This is a whole different scenario. And so weíre not
calling all of them like okay, well what do you think about
- because you canít - thatís a whole separate scenario.
I mean had more people seen the stage productions of it they
would probably say did you call this person and that - but
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Right.
Queen Latifah: You just - you saw the film...
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Yep.
Queen Latifah: ...so youíre saying should we call this -
what do you think about it? I donít think theyíre thinking
that. I think anyone who watches - Iím an avid television
watcher. I love watching movies. Iím a great movie watcher.
Iím only doing this because I love watching movies and I
love watching TV.
You know? I love...
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Yeah.
Queen Latifah: ...getting in the mirror with my brush, you
know, and making up scenes and stuff. I mean this is the kid
in me that made me this person, you know, just loving what -
But no, I donít think anyone is looking at, you know, this
and saying well did she do as good a job as me? Absolutely
not, you know?
Crystal Sinter-Brown: Right.
Queen Latifah: No one is doing that. I think if anything...
Crystal Sinter-Brown: I think...
Queen Latifah: ...anyone - they just want to watch some - a
good TV, you know, and this is going to be on Lifetime and
itís going to be great. And so I think theyíll just - anyone
would just watch it and if they donít think itís great they
wonít. But I think pretty much people will.
Crystal Sinter-Brown: I do too. Thank you so much.
Craig Zadan: Thank you.
Operator: Ms. Sanceda, Iíll now turn the call back to you.
Please continue with the presentation or closing remarks.
Devon Sanceda: Thank you everyone for joining. We are all
finished with this conference call. But Craig, Neil or Queen
Latifah, is there anything you want to add before we
Craig Zadan: No. We just hope that people watch the movie
and weíre very proud of it. And we hope that this being the
third project that Queen Latifah has done with us we canít
wait for the fourth.
Neil Meron: And (unintelligible).
Queen Latifah: For sure. I like it. Well I just hope that
people watch - tune in and watch it and experience something
unique. There is so much to watch out there but I think this
is extremely special and I think it will be something that
will live in peopleís hearts for years to come. So I hope
everyone tunes in to watch.
Devon Sanceda: Thank you all. (Anthony) this - we are
finished with the conference call. Queen, Craig and Neil you
can disconnect. Thank you.
Craig Zadan: Thank you so much.
Neil Meron: Okay. Thank you everyone. Bye.
Craig Zadan: Thank you.
Queen Latifah: All right, guys.
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