Latifah Was Slated for 'Monster's Ball'


Thursday, October 28th 2004, 9:42 am
By: News On 6


NEW YORK (AP) _ Had things worked out differently, it might have been Queen Latifah in ``Monster's Ball'' instead of Halle Berry.

The rapper-singer-actress says she was slated to play the lead in the movie that netted Berry the Oscar for best actress in 2002. Berry was the first black to ever win an Oscar in that category.

``I actually had that role before Halle. But they couldn't set it up. It would have been me, Sean Penn and Robert De Niro,'' Latifah told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

Instead, the low-budget drama starred Berry, Heath Ledger and Billy Bob Thornton.

Would Latifah have taken it all off for the role, as did Berry, for the movie's explicit sex scene?

``You wouldn't take that role without knowing what was there already,'' Latifah cautiously answered. ``It was the type of script that was written to be an Oscar winner, and that's the only reason you would take it, because you know it would require so much of you as an actor, that if you don't get a freakin' Oscar for this, you ain't gonna ever get one.''

Latifah was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar in 2003 for her role in ``Chicago.'' She stars in the comedy ``Taxi'' with Jimmy Fallon and recently released ``The Dana Owens Album.''