Queen Latifah Plays HIV-Positive Counselor in HBO Film “Life Support”
In the upcoming HBO film Life Support, rapper and actress Queen Latifah portrays Ana, an HIV-positive peer counselor at a Brooklyn AIDS facility. To prepare for the role, Latifah drew from her own personal experiences as a teenager growing up in New Jersey and her time spent on the streets of New York. “I grew up around these women and around these streets, so it was probably one of the more relatable backdrops that I’ve been able to sort of step into,” she said. “I really felt like I really could relate to the characters, to the situations, a family disrupted by drug addiction. I could relate to that just in my own family,” she continues. “So I could relate to Ana’s sense of wanting to get out there and see what life had to offer, although we took dramatically different turns.” The film’s director, Nelson George, felt Latifah was the perfect person for the role. “A good actor thinks, they’re not acting, they’re thinking, and she thinks all the time,” he said. “She was definitely one of the few people I thought had that combination of charisma and realness to pull it off. I just knew this was a part that the sister could rock!” George co-wrote Life Support with Jim McKay and Hannah Weyer and the film is based on his own real life sister who is HIV positive. Life Support debuts on HBO on March 10 at 8:00 p.m. EST and will also be available through HBO On Demand from February 26 to March 8.