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HBD-Nesta Robert Marley,February 6, 1945 BitchesBrew

Who's Watching?.. ;)

BEVERLY HILLS — Jill Scott wanted to remake “Steel Magnolias” even before she was offered a role.

“I would have worked in catering,” said the actress/singer this week at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. Scott was joined by her costars, Alfre Woodard and Queen Latifah, who also executive produced the made-for-TV movie.

Scott plays Truvy, the beauty salon owner who was portrayed in the 1989 film by Dolly Parton.”Steel Magnolias” revolves around a group of Louisiana women who use the salon as their place of refuge from the ups and downs of their daily lives. The 1989 movie co-starred Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts.

The decision to remake the film came from Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the lead executive producers who may take the film one step further and create a television series. Zadan said it “seems like a natural thing,” but also said there was nothing concrete as of Tuesday. The duo are slated to produce the Academy Awards next year.

Zadan and Meron looked to an African American cast for the reboot, which also features updated dialogue (with references to an iPhone and Michelle Obama) and different health issues for Shelby, the central character.

“We wanted to let the material live,” said Meron, who referred several times to the script as “timeless.”

The 18-day shoot was filmed on location in Louisiana. Latifah told the Journal that her decision to both act in and executive produce the film happened simultaneously.

Latifah is no stranger to the producing world.

Since 1999 when she produced “Queen Latifah Show,” the actress has lent a hand behind the scenes in over 20 titles. For “Steel Magnolias,” Latifah said she was all too happy to be first on the call sheet. Latifah has also signed on to heavily promote the remake.

“There’s nothing I hate more than girls tearing each other apart,” Latifah said, and was quickly backed up by Scott.

The made for TV movie airs Oct. 7 on Lifetime.

WSJ SpeakEasy

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