Why Queen Latifah Included A ‘No Death’ Clause In Her Movie Contracts


Queen Latifah is a beloved singer and genre-transcending actress. She’s had success in music, film, and even the talk show industry. There’s no doubt that she’s handled her life in the public eye with skill and precision. So, it’s no surprise that Latifah came up with the hilariously genius “no death” clause for her film contracts.

All About The Franchise

In the early days of Latifah’s legendary career, her characters rarely made it through their movies. Latifah once joked that she “dies too well” on camera, leading writers to include more death scenes than she was comfortable with. Her characters died in the 1996 film Set It Off, the 1998 film Sphere, and finally in The Bone Collector in 1999. It was around that time that Latifah said “no more.” She then got her agent to include a “no death” clause in her film contracts.

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Latifah spilled on the origins of the unconventional legal move in an interview with Drew Barrymore. “Is it true that you have a ‘no death’ clause in your contracts?” Barrymore asked.

“Oh my god, that’s so funny,” Latifah began, before firmly confirming, “Yes.” She remarked that she isn’t sure if the clause is still in her current contracts, but she definitely did have it for a spell in her early career. “At the beginning of my career, my characters died in the movies. … I was like ‘Wait a minute, if I keep dying in these movies, I can’t do a sequel!””

Queen Latifah Jokes She’d Rather Film Nudity Than Death

The audience applauded Latifah for her ingenious strategy. “So, we kind of threw it in there as a little off-the-cuff funniness, but I was like ‘No more dying. No more getting shot up by 300 bullets in this car, okay?’” Barrymore pointed out that plenty of actors and actresses have a “no nudity” clause in their contracts, but she had never heard of a “no dying” clause. “I was like, ‘No, you can show my butt if you need to… Here’s my butt, and it’s alive,’” Latifah joked.

RELATED: How Queen Latifah Made Peace With Her Body: Inside Her Quest To End Weight Discrimination

Latifah currently executive produces and stars in the CBS series The Equalizer. Her most recent film, a crime drama called End of the Road, hit Netflix just last month. She’s also set to produce and appear in a new teen comedy called Paper Chase, although the release date is TBD. It’s clear Latifah doesn’t have any plans to slow down her career, but don’t expect her to film a death scene any time soon!

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