Well, now we know what not to expect in any upcoming Queen Latifah movies. In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actor opened up about the one thing she will not do on screen—not unless she's paid a lot more money than usual, that is. Some stars might take issue with sexually graphic scenes or extreme violence, but Latifah draws the line at something else: She won't die on screen.
At least, she won't die on screen anymore. In some of her earlier movies, Latifah played characters who were killed before the credits rolled, so she decided to put those days behind her in a very official way. Read on to find out how Latifah ensured she won't die on screen and why it'sso important to her.
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Latifah died in a few of her earlier movies.
After getting her start as a rapper, Latifah transitioned to acting in the 1990s. While she appeared in several films and starred on the series Living Single during that decade, a few of her movies are most memorable for her characters' death scenes. In the 1995 action movie Set It Off, Latifah's character Cleo is killed during a high-speed chase with police. Then, in the 1998 sci-fi movie Sphere, her character Alice is killed by jellyfish. In the 1999 movie The Bone Collector, her character Thelma is killed by a murderer.
She includes a "no death" clause in her contracts now.
Latifah decided to put a "no death" clause in her movie contracts after realizing she might be too adept at fictionally dying. She didn't want to be asked to do it over and over again.
"I noticed I was too good at it, so it's kind of a running joke," she told Entertainment Tonight. "'Cause of course, for the right price, you know, she dies … It's in the script."
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It's a business decision, as well.
Latifah explained that she also didn't want to keep dying in movies because that meant she'd be out if any potentially turned into a franchise.
"I was like, 'I don't get to do any sequels if I keep being this good at this,'" she continued in the ET interview. "So, I was like, after Set It Off and Sphere, I said, 'Look, you gotta put a 'no death' clause in these contracts so they can't just kill me off like this. I'm never gonna get a sequel in!"
She's proud of putting her foot down.
Latifah has only been too happy to confirm rumors that she includes this clause in her contracts. During a 2016 interview on The Late Late Show, the 52-year-old actor similarly explained that she had an eye on potential sequels.
"When I first started doing movies I always had theses death scenes," she said. "In Set It Off I got killed. In Sphere I got killed. Apparently, I died too well. And then I caught on, like, wait a minute, if I die in these movies, I can't be in the sequel. 'Get my agent on the phone. We will put a 'no die' clause in these future movie contracts.'"
As for the sequels Latifah has booked, she notably starred in the Barbershop spinoff Beauty Shop after appearing in Barbershop 2: Back in Business. She's also planning to be in the reportedly upcoming sequel to her 2017 comedy, Girls Trip. On that front, she told ET, "From everything I know it's locked and loaded and ready to go. It's just that somebody's gotta make it happen."