ET has a first look at the set of Lifetime‘s remake of the popular film Steel Magnolias and caught up with star Queen Latifah to hear her approach to the film under the lofty expectations of playing “M’Lynn Eatenton” and reenacting Sally Field’s infamous cemetery scene.
“I’m a little nervous–in a good way, though,” she said during ET’s behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming film. “I’m just tuned-up to make it very special in a ‘Queen Latifah’ way. Sally Field is the best ‘Sally Field’ there is on the planet Earth…There’s no one that’s going to recreate that scene exactly the way she did it. It was just impeccable.”
While Latifah has quite the role to fill and make her own, she is getting some help from her co-star, Phylicia Rashad, who plays the real-life role of mother of Condola Rashad, which Latifah plays in the movie.
“Playing [Condola's] mom, I get to go straight to her real mom and find out a couple special things about their relationship that I think have been able to connect us that we’ll be able to use in the film,” the New Jersey native said. “I’m actually getting the hook-up. I got a freebie having [Phylicia] here.”
As for what it’s like for the Rashads to work side-by-side on the same project, they both stated that they are enjoying the experience within its own parameters. “At first it’s just a little crazy ’cause you look over and there’s you’re mother,” said Condola Rashad, a 25-year-old who plays “Shelby” (played by Julia Roberts in the original film). “I’m in the workspace but now I kind of have to watch my language ’cause there’s my mom…There’s those little moments but it’s great.”
When asked why she thought Condola was good for the role she plays, Phylicia Rashad, who once starred on The Cosby Show, said she reserves comments about her daughter in order to avoid seeming pretentious. “Anything I say, people [are] gonna say, ‘Well, that’s her mother. She’s supposed to say that,’ she said. “I will say this much: I am very, very pleased with her work ethic. She is grounded in her work and I couldn’t ask for more than that.”
Lifetime has yet to declare an official premiere date for the upcoming television movie remake of Steel Magnolias, which was originally released as a film in November 1989.