Queen Latifah Takes On 'Steel Magnolias': It's 'Hallowed Ground'

Queen Latifah speaks onstage during the "Let's Stay Together" panel at the BET Networks portion of the 2011 Winter TCA press tour held at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., on January 6, 2011 Queen Latifah speaks onstage during the "Let's Stay Together" panel at the BET Networks portion of the 2011 Winter TCA press tour held at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., on January 6, 2011

Queen Latifah is no stranger to acting, but a phone call she recently received with an offer from producer Craig Zadan shocked the star, as she learned there were plans to remake “Steel Magnolias” with an all-black cast.

“My jaw dropped immediately. I’m like, ‘The ‘Steel Magnolias?’” she told Access Hollywood during a recent visit to the Lifetime movie’s set. “That’s like, hallowed ground, you know!”

More surprises were in store for the artist, as Craig delivered the news that they would like Queen Latifah to take on one of the film’s most beloved role.

“When [Craig] said M’Lynn, I was like, ‘That’s the Sally Field role!’” she said. “He really just felt like I could anchor it, I could give it that sort of same strength and performance—deliver, not the same performance, but the same sort of passion and heart.”

Like the 1989 classic, the Lifetime remake will chronicle the friendships of different generations of southern women. Joining Queen Latifah in the all-star cast is Condola Rashad (daughter of former “The Cosby Show” star Phylicia Rashad) who will play M’Lynn’s daughter Shelby — the role that helped launch Julia Roberts into stardom.

Phylicia also stars in the project as Clairee (the role originally filled by Olympia Dukakis) and any fears Condola may have had about working with her mom were quickly quelled.

“I thought it was going to be more weird than it actually is,” Condola told Access of working with her mom. “I grew up going to work with her, so I’m used to seeing her in a work setting. I’m just not used to her seeing me in a work setting!”

Lifetime’s “Steel Magnolias” – which also stars Jill Scott and Alfre Woodard — is slated to air in the fall.

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