As ‘Jungle Fever’ Turns 25, Queen Latifah Shares Her Memories

As 'Jungle Fever' Turns 25, Queen Latifah Shares Her Memories

A movie poster advertises the drama ‘Jungle Fever,’ directed by Spike Lee and starring Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Anthony Quinn, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah, and Halle Berry, 1991. John D Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images

June 7 marks 25 years since Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” was released in movie theaters.

The movie was the fifth film written, produced and directed by the then-burgeoning Brooklyn filmmaker.

Recognized as an irreverent voice of the new pack of Hollywood filmmakers, Lee pushed the envelope with the movie’s interracial love story subject matter.

New York City in the 1990s served as the backdrop for the film, starring Wesley Snipes as a successful media executive who abandons his black wife, played by Lonette McKee, for a young white woman played by Annabella Sciorra.

Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Quinn also appeared in the film – along with Lee.

“Jungle Fever” also marked the feature film debut of Queen Latifah – then a popular rapper breaking ground on the hip-hop scene.

“I just remember it was hot, it was really hot,” Latifah shared with ABC News. “It was summertime in Harlem. I had this tiny little [dressing] room. I just remember being nervous and I didn’t really know what I was doing. And I had a little bit of a cold so I kind of did what I could and got my feet wet.”

During her scene, which was shot at Harlem’s world-famous soul food spot Sylvia’s, she portrayed a sassy, turban-clad waitress who takes the interracial couple to task for publicly flaunting their relationship.

“It was like a really memorable scene in that film at the time so it was kind of fun to do that,” Latifah said.

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