Queen Latifah plays former CIA agent Robyn McCall in The Equalizer, a new take on an 80s CBS drama.
And it looks like McCall has made North Jersey his home in recent weeks.
Latifah, 50, who is also an executive producer on the CBS series, has been spotted filming scenes in local towns, including Jersey City and Paterson, in recent days.
Last week, the show was shot in downtown Jersey City and on Gifford and Bergen avenues. Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh posted a photo of himself with Latifah on the Silk City set on Friday.
She’s a first-class woman, Sayegh said of the Newark native, sharing a photo of a masked Latifah sitting in a car on Instagram. He called Paterson Hollywood East.
The city is booming with film and television production over the past few years, from Oscar-nominated Martin Scorsese film The Irishman to the Amazon Hunters series to Aaron Sorkin Netflix film The Trial of the Chicago 7 which made the buzz at the Oscars. Steven Spielberg’s upcoming musical West Side Story starring Cliftons Rachel Zegler, which has been postponed until December 2021, and Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, postponed from September and slated for March.
Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim created The Equalizer in the 1980s. Edward Woodward played the role of retired intelligence officer Robert McCall. In the series, which ran from 1985 to 1989 on CBS, McCall uses his special skills (like Liam Neesons Bryan Mills in Taken) to act like a kind of superhero, saving the day for vulnerable people in danger. Denzel Washington played a version of the character in Equalizer films released in 2014 and 2018.
In the television revival, Latifahs McCall is also a single mother. Teen actress Laya Hayes was spotted filming with Latifah this month.
Showrunners and writers Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller (Castle) produces the new Equalizer series with Latifah. Chris Noth (The Good Wife, Sex and the City) plays Robyn McCalls, former CIA boss in the series. Lorraine Toussaint (Selma, Orange is the New Black) plays Aunt McCalls.
Latifah, born Dana Owens, grew up in East Orange and was first known as a rapper, starting with her debut album, All Hail the Queen, in 1989. She won a Grammy for the song in 1993 UNIT She is a television veteran, her roles ranging from Khadijah James in Living Single to Ursula in The Little Mermaid Live! and Hattie McDaniel in Netflixs Hollywood.
Latifah’s films include Girls Trip, Hairspray and Chicago, for which she was nominated for an Oscar in 2003. She won Emmys in 2008 for her role in the HBO movie Life Support and in 2015 as a producer of the HBO movie Bessie, in which she starred. like blues singer Bessie Smith.
Another role of Latifah: real estate developer. Its construction project is underway at Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street in Newark. The mixed-use development will include affordable housing.
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Amy Kuperinsky can be contacted at [email protected].
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