Sing It!

TFK chats with Keke Palmer about her new movie Joyful Noise, in theaters January 13

Jan 13, 2012 | By Vickie An
VAN REDIN—WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT, INC.

Keke Palmer, 18, sings loud and proud in her new movie Joyful Noise, in theaters January 13. The actress plays Olivia Hill, a talented teen whose small-town church choir is gearing up for the National Joyful Noise Competition. Tough times have fallen on the town, and a win is just what they need to lift their spirits.

There’s just one problem: Olivia’s mom, Vi Rose Hill (played by Queen Latifah), who is the new choir director, and the church’s most generous donor, G.G. Sparrow (played by Dolly Parton), want to take the group in different musical directions. Vi Rose wants the choir to stay true to it traditional roots. But G.G. thinks a more contemporary sound is the key to their success. The rivalry threatens to tear the entire choir apart. Will the group find harmony before their competition dreams are dashed?

TFK spoke to Keke Palmer about her melodic new role and about what’s to come for the True Jackson, VP, star in 2012.

TFK:

What kind of role does Olivia have in the film?

KEKE PALMER:

She has a few different roles. There’s the situation going on between her and her mother. Olivia is growing up, she’s ready to be her own person, and she’s ready to do her own thing. But her mother has always been [overprotective]. It’s hard for them. Then Olivia meets G.G’s grandson, and through that relationship she finds out who she is, and of course, falls in love.

TFK:

How would you describe Olivia’s personality?

PALMER:

She’s quiet, but also cool. She’s passionate about music. Music is what gets her going. She feels most comfortable when she’s singing. But overall, she’s your normal teenager. She’s very sheltered, and she’s tired of it.

TFK:

Queen Latifah plays your mom in the movie. In your very first movie, Barbershop 2, she played your aunt. What was it like to reunite with her on the big screen?

PALMER:

It was amazing! I had the best time. Since I’m older now, we could talk about more. She was telling me about all the things she’s done and how she was able to turn her rapping career into an acting career and a producing career. It was really awesome to have that conversation with someone as great as she is.

Nickelodeon star Keke Palmer stars in the new movie Joyful Noise.
VAN REDIN—WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
Keke Palmer stars in the new movie Joyful Noise.

TFK:

There’s another big music legend in the movie: Dolly Parton. How was it working with her?

PALMER:

No one understands what I mean when I say this, but she is just the sweetest woman you will ever meet. I mean that. If you ever meet her, you’ll be like, “Wow, Keke wasn’t kidding!” She greets you with open arms. She’s so kind and very loving.

TFK:

Your new album comes out next year. What can fans expect?

PALMER:

They can expect an album that covers a lot of different things that they can relate to. I’ve been so impatient for it to come out!

TFK:

You’re a co-producer on the upcoming Nickelodeon movie musical, Rags. What will the movie be about, and what made you want to try your hand at producing?

PALMER:

Nick Cannon approached me and said it would be awesome if I could come on to bring a youth element to the production. I’m starring in it too, but I’m also excited to get my foot in the door to produce. It was a great learning experience. I learned a lot of things about myself and about being a producer.

TFK:

Was it challenging to act in the film and then put on the producer’s hat?

PALMER:

It was difficult. I’m used to being just an actor. As an actor, you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. A lot of the times, I would forget that I was a producer and that I could speak up.

TFK:

You also have a voice role in the fourth Ice Age movie, Continental Drift. Can you tell us about it?

PALMER:

I play Peaches. She’s the daughter of Queen Latifah and Ray Romano’s characters, Ellie and Manny. They had Peaches in the last Ice Age movie, and now she’s a teenager. She’s tired of her dad always being on her back and being overprotective. Peaches is such an outgoing young girl. She has a ready-for-the-world type of attitude. That scares her dad, because he doesn’t want her to get hurt.

TFK:

On top of everything else, you’ve also teamed up with Save Our Daughters to end bullying. You’ve been very open about your experience being bullied when you were younger. What do you hope to accomplish with this campaign?

PALMER:

I just want to spread the word and give those young kids out there who are being bullied someone they can identify with. I want to let them know that there’s someone who understands and that there are ways to get through it.