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Hello from the set of “Steel Magnolias”

576064_3351518059358_1011078506_3094740_202104725_nThe remake of “Steel Magnolias” is filming today at a private residence beside the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, across the street from Druid Hills Golf Club.

The Lifetime project is being directed by Kenny Leon.

“It’s a very universal story,” he told us during a break in the action today. “Even though we honor the original women, somehow these women have made it worth doing again. It feels like a brand new film.”

The modern version stars Queen Latifah as M’Lynn, the role Sally Field played in the original film. Alfre Woodard plays Ouiser (as Shirley MacLaine did in the original), Phylicia Rashad of plays Clairee (Olympia Dukakis in the original film), Jill Scott as Truvy (Dolly Parton’s former role), Adepero Oduye as Annelle (Daryl Hannah in the original film) and Condola Rashad as Shelby (Julia Roberts in the original film).

“It’s great working with all these women,” Leon said. “It’s pretty special. If you took any one of these women out of this film, it would be different.”

Leon also will direct Phylicia Rashad in a stage production of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” at the Rialto Center this July. (Here’s a link to a story about that project).

“It’s timeless,” Leon said of that project. “I’m careful about the projects I choose.”

529354_3351527979606_1011078506_3094744_534257547_nThe scene being filmed earlier today was the wedding reception scene in which Clairee utters the memorable line, “Well, you know what they say: if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!”

In the scene she and Truvy are cattily assessing other guests, including the mayor’s wife whose dancing “looks like two pigs fighting under a blanket.” In a clever bit of modernizing, Truvy notes with horror that the mayor’s wife didn’t even bother putting on her Spanx. (In case Sara Blakely, just named to Time’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, needed more validation!)

Much of the action in “Steel Magnolias” takes place in Truvy’s beauty salon. For this project the salon will be a set constructed in a warehouse. In addition to the Druid Hills home, this rendition will feature hospital scenes shot at Riverdale’s Southern Regional Medical Center (which is also where scenes for the miniseries “Coma” were filmed).

“Steel Magnolias” will wrap on April 28, and is expected to air in September.

“The ultimate message is the preciousness of life,” Leon said. “That never gets old.”

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

18 comments Add your comment

Debbie

April 19th, 2012
8:01 pm

Steel Magnolia’s with an all black cast is like Madea with an all white cast. It is just wrong on so many levels.

gunga din

April 20th, 2012
3:56 am

where da white folks?? interesting article considering it comes a day after two black men file a lawsuit against the Batchelor for not hiring minorities. this seems almost as racist (anti-white) as the tyler perry movies and tv shows.

[...] They’re remaking Steel Magnolias. I KNOW. But it gets “better” y’all. They’re remaking it for a Lifetime movie. ::insert eye roll:: There are so many thoughts swirling, most of them ending in WHY? Has Hollywood run out of original ideas? Is Steel Magnolias not played on TV enough already? Have so many generations forgotten about it already? Is Pretty Woman next? How about Gone With The Wind? When I think of it, I turn about ten shades of blush and bashful and am reminded that if I can’t say anything nice, I should go sit by Clairee. [...]

elle

April 20th, 2012
10:49 am

Can someone explain to me how Tyler Perry movies are “anti-white”? Cause I don’t see it.

“Steel Magnolia’s with an all black cast is like Madea with an all white cast. It is just wrong on so many levels.” Wow. That’s just ignorant.

Southern BTGOG

April 20th, 2012
7:47 pm

In the original mover, the memorable scene in which Clairee’s line was uttered was at the Christmas party (where the pregnancy was announced), not at the wedding reception. Are they going to remake this movie by taking all of the great lines and shuffling them around?

Grace

April 20th, 2012
7:53 pm

The original Steel had an all white cast. I didn’t see the original so I don’t know if the characters are related or what. If these characters are mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces then I can understand why the original & remake are the same race….DUH…. Especially in the south

Grace

April 20th, 2012
7:57 pm

Every convo in this racist ass southern paper has to be about race. I don’t even like most of Tyler Perry’s movies but he make movies for the people Hollywood forgot about….black women over 35. Whites can go to the movies every wkend and see movies made about them for them. Blacks have 1 movie per season and we are called racist.

Author, G. D. Grace

April 20th, 2012
8:00 pm

Looking forward to see how it’s interpreted. With the right combination it could be a straight knockout remake. Patience is a virtue.

Jennifer Brett

April 20th, 2012
8:11 pm

Y’all. Can we please not have a race riot erupt over a Lifetime chick flick?

Thanks.

Jennifer

Jay

April 20th, 2012
8:59 pm

Amen Jennifer Brett!!!!!!

MLK

April 20th, 2012
11:02 pm

Even I myself don’t understand what they are trying to do.

Skylar

April 20th, 2012
11:26 pm

Not to be rude, but I’m in love with the first version of this film, and I’m pretty sure Clairee says that line, “If you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me,” at the Christmas party where Shelby announces she’s pregnant.

Don Woods

April 20th, 2012
11:59 pm

I’m a native Atlantan living in Los Angeles, Ca. and I can’t believe how ignorant and shallow some of the comments are on this blog are.What difference does it make what color the cast is?With all due respect, Whites find it very convenient to make racist comments on a blog.It’s as if the internet has become the new “white hood” to conceal their identity.Personally, I’m not a big fan of Tyler Perry but I do commend him for allowing an opportunities for Blacks that Hollywood has consistently ignored.

Teachone

April 22nd, 2012
9:14 am

All I can say is…..why is everyone all upset? Who cares if there is a remake with any type of cast? If you want to watch it, then do. If you don’t, then don’t. BTW Grace, you have a good point that I never thought about before.

liberalefty

April 22nd, 2012
12:12 pm

i’m a black man but i wont be watching this bs. sorry, but a chick movie with a bunch of ole chicks is not my cup of tea

Annie Nomolous

April 23rd, 2012
4:13 pm

Everthing that I have seen of Kenny Leon’s has been fabulous! As a white southern woman, I think this story will work very well with black women. As Kenny Leon said, the story is timeless and it doesn’t get old. Sort of like The Bishops Wife/ The Preacher’s Wife. Same story different telling.

TheDuchess

April 23rd, 2012
5:51 pm

It’s entertainment and I’ll look forward to it for that reason alone. I enjoyed the first, and hopefully the second will be just a sweet…not the same, but good. It just amazes me how race always comes up and then some want to say that blacks ALWAYS want to play the ‘race card’…I don’t have one in my wallet, so….you do the math. Who brought it up first???

ab

April 23rd, 2012
7:16 pm

Jennifer Brett, how do you take these (mostly) stupid comments week after week?

Liberal Lefty, you just totally proved a point by saying you didn’t want to watch a movie with mature black women in it. You should probably stick to animated films.