Queen Latifah Hosts Hometown Premiere

Thursday, January 12th 2006, 9:53 am
By: News On 6

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Queen Latifah hosted a hometown premiere of her latest movie ``Last Holiday'' on Wednesday, inviting hundreds of guests to a city movie theater.

As she walked along a red carpet laid in the middle of a parking lot Latifah said she was happy to be back in Newark.

``It just means I don't have to go far to get home from the premiere,'' said Latifah, who has homes in New Jersey and Los Angeles. ``My whole family is here, so it's wonderful. I can celebrate with Jersey for a change.''

Mayor Sharpe James gushed about the Newark premiere.

``She's our queen,'' he said. ``This young lady is so multitalented. She's still the girl next door. She still comes home to Newark.''

Latifah brought her co-star, LL Cool J. And comedian Joe Piscopo, a fellow New Jersey native, also attended.

``Here's a Jersey girl who could premiere this film anywhere she wants, but she gave Newark the jump on Hollywood,'' Piscopo said, referring to the film's formal premiere on Thursday. It opens at theaters nationwide on Friday.

The film also stars Timothy Hutton and Gerard Depardieu. Latifah plays a shy cookware saleswoman for a department store. Her character embarks on a dream European vacation when she is misdiagnosed with a fatal illness.