Queen Latifah Once Shared if She Would Ever Choose Between Music and Acting

Queen Latifah currently plays Robyn McCall in the CBS drama The Equalizer. The series is the multitalented celebrity’s first action TV show. However, she has been acting professionally since the 1990s with shows and movies such as Living Single and Set It Off

While on the set of Set It Off, Queen Latifah revealed whether she would give up one of her award-winning skills. 

Queen Latifah smiling on the 'America's Got Talent' red carpet.
Queen Latifah|Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

 How many Queen Latifah movies are there? 

Queen Latifah was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, as Dana Owens. In 1989, she moved to New York and inked a deal with Tommy Boy Records. Under the label, the rapper released two albums, including All Hail the Queen and Nature of a Sista. Her debut project earned the “U.N.I.T.Y.” artist a Grammy nomination for Rap Solo Performance. 

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In the early 1990s, Queen Latifah tried acting. Soon, she booked a role in Jungle Fever, starring Wesley Snipes. Following the Spike Lee film, the rapper appeared in Juice and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Several years later, Queen received an offer to star as Khadijah James in Living Single. While playing the Flavor magazine CEO, the Oscar-nominated star landed her first starring role in Set It Off. Since then, the Jersey girl has played in 65 movies, per IMDb

Why Queen Latifah refuses to choose between music and acting

Throughout the past three decades, Queen Latifah’s career has continued to soar. She released several albums in the early ‘00s, including The Dana Owens Album and Trav’lin Light. Additionally, she branched out into televised musicals with The Wiz Live! and The Little Mermaid Live! on NBC.

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Queen Latifah seemingly predicted her transition from music to movies back in 1996. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight,  the Ice Age actor said she never wanted to stifle her creativity once her career took off. 

“I don’t ever think I’ll have to choose between music and acting,” Latifah said at the time. “I mean, I won’t choose between music and acting. They’re two different things that satisfy me in two different ways. They satisfy my creative soul.”

The ‘Living Single’ alum is the first female ‘Equalizer’

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In Feb. 2021, The Equalizer premiered on CBS. The show is a reboot of the 1980s TV series and the feature films starring Denzel Washington as Robert McCall. Latifah shared what it was like to fill Washington’s shoes as The Equalizer’s first female lead. 

“What Denzel did with the feature films has been incredible. If anything, he set a bar in a way but also gave us a lot of room to go a completely different direction,” Queen Latifah said.

The Equalizer’s executive producer Debra Martin Chase said she created Robyn McCall for Latifah. Both she and the rapper worked diligently to make the character as realistic as possible. 

“Robyn McCall was developed as a Black woman,” Chase told the outlet. “We said, ‘No, we’re going to make her a Black woman, not just a woman who happens to be Black,” Chase said. “It’s been a lot of honesty that has gone into creating this show. And I hope it shows. I think it shows.”