Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton might seem an odd but awesome combination for many reasons, not least of which the lesbian rumors that surround them both.
Latifah continues to sidestep the question, although never outwardly denying her sexuality, and doesn’t seem to be too concerned about commenting on photos of her cuddling with her personal trainer, and possible girlfriend, Jeanette Jenkins.
As for Dolly, her staunch support of gay rights has always made her a queer favorite, but there are plenty of whispers surrounding her and best friend and personal assistant, Judy Ogle. The two have been best friends since third grade and although both claim time and time again not to “be like that,” their replies to questions are ambiguous and tantalizing, like this Ogle gem as told to Larry King, “I am not gay. I have been accused of that. But I have been happily married for 42 years to the same man. And he’s not the least bit, you know, threatened by the fact that I may be gay.”
Dolly herself has joked that when she has sex with her husband of 40 years she fantasizes she is “with someone like Keith Urban or a petite, hot young woman,” and that she once had a crush on a female prostitute in Tennessee who she thought was beautiful.
But aside from the murmurs of the gay gossip mill, these two amazing also share inspiring voices that make them well suited to star opposite one another in an upcoming gospel-choir feature Joyful Noise.
Writer/Director Todd Graff (Bandslam, Camp and writer for The Beautician and the Beast) will also helm this musical feel-good dramedy that follows a gospel choir on the brink of destruction due to budget cuts and the two strong-willed ladies fighting to keep it alive.
Parton will play the widow of the choir director who had assumed she would take her late husband’s position of leading the choir, while Latifah plays a tough-as-nails mother of two teenagers whose husband is on military leave. It is she who technically gets the choirmaster position. Their only hope of Glee-style survival is winning a national competition, and it’ll take both divas to get them there.
In a statement about the film, Parton said, "I’m really happy to be doing a movie with Queen Latifah. I really like her and have often thought we would be fun together. Even though we play rivals in the movie, I’m sure we’ll have our fun behind the scenes.”
These strikingly different yet parallel women of song are sure to have some amazing onscreen chemistry whether arguing or hugging and I look forward to seeing them face challenges together.
Production is set to begin in January 2011.