The rapper-turned-actress was slated to play the lead in the acclaimed 2001 movie - opposite De Niro and Sean Penn - until Halle Berry convinced director MARC FOSTER that she could play a struggling single mother, and BILLY BOB THORNTON and Heath Ledger took over De Niro and Penn's father and son roles.
Berry became the first black actress ever to win a Best Actress Oscar for the role.
Latifah, real name Dana Owens, says, "I actually had that role before Halle. But they couldn't set it up. It would have been me, SEAN PENN and ROBERT DE NIRO."28/10/2004 22:10