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'Joyful Noise' stars Dolly Parton, newcomers

January 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The film "Joyful Noise" centers on a gospel choir hoping to be showered with praise for its singing.

Queen Latifah plays an opinionated choir director in the film, and Dolly Parton plays an opinionated member of that choir. Parton said she carefully chose the role.

"I didn't want to do just anything," she said. "I've had a lot of offers to do movies, but nothing great had come along in a long time, and this was so perfect."

Parton said it was a pleasure working with Queen Latifah.

"She's witty and she's fun and she's everything that I'd like to believe I am," Parton said. "She's got a lot of heart, a lot of soul. She loves her family, loves the community, wants to help, willing to help - and she sings."

The film is packed with performances, with several offerings from a young actress coming of age, Keke Palmer.

"Yes! I get to sing! That's so awesome. I get to sing 'Man in the Mirror,' my favorite," said Palmer.

Palmer said one of her favorite artists is Michael Jackson.

Broadway actor Jeremy Jordan makes his movie debut as one of the leads in this movie.

"You see every little nuance and every little eyebrow and mouth movement. The first time I saw the film, I was, like, 'Man, I've got a big mouth!'" said Jordan.

Writer-director Todd Graff talked about how Jordan was chosen for the role.

"I came in out of the rain to see a Broadway show and the understudy was on for the lead and it was Jeremy, and I had no idea who he was," said Graff. "I tracked him down the next day and I had him come over to my apartment. With several other actors, we read through the script and I cast him. He told me that that night I was there was literally the first time he'd ever been on a New York stage."

Angela Grovey is another newcomer featured in the film.

"Todd saw me in an off-Broadway musical in New York and wrote this part for me," she said.

The film opens in theaters on Friday.