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Queen Latifah says daytime talk show does not signal end of her acting career

TORONTO - Queen Latifah insists her new role as a syndicated daytime talk show host does not signal the end of her acting career.

"Acting, I feel like I will do until I croak, pretty much," the Oscar-nominated star, who's won a Grammy and a Golden Globe Award, said during a recent spin through Toronto.

"Until I've keeled over, I'll be able to act, as long as I have my faculties. It's just something I've always loved to do, and I'd love to be able to do it as I get older and older.

"So it will never go away. It's always going to be in my heart."

Besides, the New Jersey-born actress/singer-songwriter figures she'll still be able to slip into different roles in skits for "The Queen Latifah Show," premiering Monday at 3 p.m. ET/PT on Global and CBS. She also created the theme song for it.

A constellation of stars are lined up for the first week, including Monday's mix of John Travolta, Willow Smith and Alicia Keys. Will Smith will drop by Tuesday, Sharon Stone is set to appear on Wednesday, Jamie Foxx is Thursday's guest and Jake Gyllenhaal is scheduled for Friday.

Despite the big names, Latifah said the most important aspect of the hour-long program is "connecting with people ... highlighting people and their amazingness."

That means "everyday people, not just A-list celebrities."

"Of course we'll have the A-list celebrities as well, and probably a couple of Bs and Cs to mix it up," said the always amiable Latifah, who got an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress in the 2002 musical film "Chicago."

"We like our different alphabets, like a good alphabet soup. Maybe an N-list or a Z-list to keep it interesting. We'll have the music, we'll do all of the big shows like that.

"But I think celebrating real people and having fun, and making sure that they have an hour out of the day that they can just escape and laugh and maybe learn something interesting or something inspiring being inspired in some sort of way, I think is more important."

The hip-hop pioneer also had her own talk show from 1999 to 2001.

Now is the time for a reboot because she has "the great partnership to make it happen," she said.

That partnership includes her Flavor Unit Entertainment as well as Sony Pictures and Overbrook Entertainment, which is co-run by big-screen stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

"Will and Jada ... all of us, we've known each other since we were teenagers," said Latifah, who will appear in the upcoming comedy film "Think Like a Man Too."

"So nobody really knows me better and can help interpret who Latifah is, in that setting, for our producers and our writers to create a show that really works for me and who I am, something I can enjoy doing every day."


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