I've long known that Queen Latifah is a proud New Jerseyan and in particular is proud citizen of Newark NJ. I like to point out public NJ figures who really fight to dispel the negative stereotypes that people have about NJ and she is one of the best.

There is a great article that she did that I will be posting at a later date. but this post is about her new movie the world premiere she held for it in Newark.

Queen Latifah reigns

Queen Latifah and her entorage will be in Newark tonight for the 6:30 premiere of her new film “Last Holiday” at the Newark Screens cinema on Springfield Avenue. The screening is not open to the public.

Fellow rapper-actor LL Cool J — her co-star in this flick — Jersey celebrities Joe Piscopo and Wyclef Jean, and Newark Mayor Sharpe James are also expected. Funkmaster Flex will DJ at an after-party "with a little New Orleans flavor" at the Newark Museum.

"It's a bona fide premiere - we've invited everybody in entertainment from New York and New Jersey, label executives, and friends and family. It's a big thank-you to the city of Newark," Latifah said.

Latifah was born Dana Owens at St. Michael's Hospital in Newark, and grew up in the city, as well as in East Orange and Irvington. She played basketball at Irvington High School. And although she shot to fame as a rap star and later as an Oscar-nominated actress, she hasn't ever really left the area - she spent the Christmas holidays in New Jersey, she said - and she's invested in the city through real-estate development and scholarship foundations.
Queen Latifah premieres new movie in Newark
Fans waited hours in the rain for a glimpse of their hometown star

(Newark-AP, January 11, 2006) - Queen Latifah came home Wednesday night to host a premiere of her latest movie.

"Last Holiday" opens nationwide Friday, but the star held a hometown preview for hundreds of guests invited to a city movie theater. She brought her co-star, LL Cool J, and comedian Joe Piscopo also attended.
As she walked down a red carpet set up in the middle of a parking lot, Latifah said she was happy to be back in Newark.

"It just means I don't have to go far to get home from the premiere," she joked. "My whole family is here, so it's wonderful. I can celebrate with 'Joizy' for a change."

Mayor Sharpe James gushed about the Newark premiere, saying he was excited to walk down a red carpet.

"She's our queen," he said. "This young lady is so multitalented. She's still the girl next door. She still comes home to Newark."

Piscopo, a fellow New Jerseyan, voiced similar sentiments.

"Here's a 'Joizy' girl who could premiere this film anywhere she wants, but she gave Newark the jump on Hollywood," he said, referring to the formal premiere that is scheduled for Thursday.

Born Dana Owens, Queen Latifah, 35, was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in "Chicago," and also started in "Taxi," "Beauty Shop" and "Bringing Down the House."

In her latest film, which also stars Timothy Hutton and Gerard Depardieu, she plays a shy cookware saleswoman for a department store. Her character embarks on a dream European vacation when she is misdiagnosed with a fatal illness.

Earlier this month, Queen Latifah - who has homes in New Jersey and Los Angeles - became the first hip-hop artist crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

She made her musical debut in 1989 with the seminal hip-hop album, "All Hail the Queen." Her third album, "Black Reign," earned her a Grammy Award in 1994. Her leap to television in 1993 with the sitcom "Living Single" widened her appeal.

Several fans waited in the rain Wednesday night to get a glimpse of the Newark native, standing near a wet red carpet set up in the middle of a parking lot. Among them were several young girls who came out to see their hometown hero, and Latifah said she was thankful for their support.

"I hope they stay positive and strong and follow their goals," she said.

One of those fans was Shayanna Bradley, 13, who came with her cousin.

"She's a good actress, she's pretty," Bradley said. "She sets a good example for little kids."

Adam Collins, 33, said he went to East Orange High School with the star.

"I'm glad she made her dream come true," Collins said.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Another actor who really surprised me was Scott Wolf from "Party of Five" and the movie "Go". Sottt Wolf was on Saturday Night Live a number of years ago and his monologue was all about how great New Jersey is. It was very inspriring and someone I would love to speak to about New Jersey.

It's funny that for how ridiculed NJ is and looked down upon by so many people who have never been here, actors and musicians who grew up in NJ are huge supporters of NJ. As a small sample just look at Bon Jovi, Springsteen, Scott Wolf, Danny Devito and now Queen Latifah. Susan Sarandon and Bebe Neuwirth both fellow New Jerseyans are big supporters of Art Pride NJ.

New Jersey has a lot to be proud of, not least of which are the many famous New Jerseyans who go out and give back to the state of New Jersey.