Queen Latifah is covering the latest issue of UPTOWN. In the interview, the 45-year-old actress opens up about marriage equality, homosexuality, Bill Cosby and her role as Bessie Smith.

Check out some of the highlights below:

On her nude scene in Bessie: “I’ve never done that before. It was a little odd but it was also a quiet, relaxing thing. Sometimes she was so alone, and it was a moment for Bessie to acknowledge her vulnerability, which I can completely relate to … I don’t find [this nude scene] any more uncomfortable than kissing a girl in Set It Off and sticking to the script. You have to take your mind off of yourself and honor that character. Respect Cleo, respect Bessie.”

On LBGTQ equality: “Who you choose to marry is really up to you and it’s not something you should be judged on. I don’t find being gay or lesbian to be a character flaw. Couples should be protected under the laws of this country period. It actually angers me.”

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‘I Don’t Find Being Gay or Lesbian to Be a Character Flaw’Queen Latifah

On The Queen Latifah Show cancellation: “Obviously it was disappointing but I don’t look at these things as catastrophic failures. We have a lot going on in our company alone, so I’m not worried about my next job opportunity.”

On Bill Cosby and sexual assault allegations: “It’s unfortunate because he has done so much in terms of entertainment, culture and black folks. But right is right and wrong is wrong. All these women, all these stories, it’s just – what a big stain on such an amazing career.”

On homosexuality: “People’s ideas in general are antiquated when it comes to who you love. We haven’t moved as quickly as we probably should. And the reality is that there’s always been gay people in the black community, so it’s not foreign to us. And not just as a black community but just a society as a whole.”

Click here to check out the full interview! Bessie premieres on HBO on May 16th.

Image Credits: Ari Michelson/Uptown Magazine

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  • When I researched about Bessie Smith, I have seen that she lived a much more hard, rough life than a lot of people think. Queen Latifah is a talented actress and singer, so I’m not worried about her portrayal about Bessie. She’s a pro and I’m certain that her presentation of Bessie will be great. Bessie is very underated, because she was an excellent entertainment. Like all human beings, she has experienced much drama during her life. I not surprised at Queen Latifah’s statements on many issues. Her life is her life. She is honest enough to talk about many issues. Some people will agree or disagree with her words. The most important thing is for us to grow as a people and as a community. We all want justice to come about we want to learn lessons from the past, so the future can be better than the present. That’s the point.

    • AlwaysBlossom

      Most black people did. Homosexuality is not equal to race. There is no injustice

    • Hello Sister. Black people suffered huge oppression back then. I agree with you on that point.

  • Rizzo

    i look forward to watching dana as bessie and mo’nique as ma rainey. i read a most interesting, and enjoyable, play written by august wilson entitled “ma rainey’s black bottom.” i thought the play was excellent and captured the essence of black people in the 1920’s.