Queen Latifah Spotted in Jersey City Filming CBS Pilot ‘The Equalizer’

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Filming for CBS’ new pilot, The Equalizer, starring Queen Latifah {whose hometown is Newark}, is currently taking place in Jersey City. Per a tweet from City of Jersey City’s account on November 10th, residents were informed of parking restrictions surrounding production.

The tweet stated, “Residents, please be advised, the film ‘Equalizer’, will be filming on Gifford Ave. btwn JFK & Bergen Ave. tomorrow (11/11) between 8am & 5pm. The production will be using both sides of Gifford Ave as well as North side of Bergen Ave (southbound) btwn Gifford & Bentley Ave. For residents impacted by parking, the production is offering parking spaces at Lincoln Park (between the tennis center & fountain) No parking signs take effect tonight (11/10) at 11:59pm until tomorrow (11/11) at 5pm.”

Photos that surfaced online Monday, November 9th, showed Latifah on Jersey Avenue in Jersey City shooting a scene for the crime drama. There are also flyers posted in the Van Vorst Park neighborhood where filming is taking place, indicating that the pilot is scheduled to shoot at a private residence in the area.

 

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“She was just so chill, just friendly and talking to people,” Stephanie Daniels, Creative Director of FilmJC {Jersey City’s film initiative}, told NJ Advance Media after spotting the Taxi actress on set Monday. “Everybody was wearing a mask.” Daniels also noted everyone was social distancing and there was a trailer for COVID-19 testing on location. 

Read More: Your Celebrity Guide to the Mile Square

Latifah – who last starred in the Lifetime movie The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel – serves as one of seven executive producers {Universal Television produces the reboot in association with CBS Television Studios}. The writers are Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller. Other stars include Chris Noth, Liza Lapira, Lorraine Toussaint, Tory Kittles, and Laya DeLeon Hayes.

Noth, star of Sex and the City, was announced as a new addition to the cast back in May. Deadline reported, “I hear [Noth] had been approached for the role when The Equalizer was still a regular pilot gearing for production before the coronavirus-related Hollywood shutdown suspended all pilot production. There was a scheduling conflict because Noth had a play commitment for the summer, when a broadcast series normally would go into production, which he wanted to honor. That commitment fell through as all theaters have been closed because of the pandemic, and he was recently signed for the CBS drama ahead of its series order.”

The storyline for the reboot is as follows: “Robyn McCall (played by Queen Latifah), an enigmatic African American woman with a mysterious background, uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. McCall comes across to most as an average single mom who is quietly raising her teenage daughter. But to a trusted few, she is ‘The Equalizer’ – an anonymous guardian angel and defender of the downtrodden, who’s also dogged in her pursuit of personal redemption.”

See More: 12 Celebrities Born in Jersey City {Yes, Including Martha Stewart}

The Equalizer currently filming is a fresh spin on the 1980s CBS series with the same title that aired for four seasons between 1985 and 1989, starring Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a retired intelligence agent. It was then adapted into two feature films — the first debuting in 2014 and the second in 2018 – starring Denzel Washington. 

The 50-year-old actress is no stranger to New Jersey {she grew up in East Orange}. For quite some time, Latifah’s production company’s {Flavor Unit Entertainment} headquarters were located at a restored firehouse at 155 Morgan Street in Jersey City from 1996 until it was sold in April 2015 for $2.25 million. 

 

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Last year, it was reported that Latifah, whose real name is Dana Owens, is giving back to her hometown by investing in affordable housing in Newark. As the Co-President of development group BlueSugar Corp., she has partnered with GonSosa Development for the $14 million construction project at Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street that includes 20 three-family townhomes and a three-story mixed-use building with 16 additional units. Just this past July, Latifah was granted a pair of tax abatements by the Newark City Council that will aid in getting the ball rolling for the anticipated completion date of spring 2022.

If you happen to spot Queen Latifah out and about in Jersey City, be sure to tag us {@thehobokengirl + @thejerseycitygirl} on social media!

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After landing her dream job as a reporter for In Touch Weekly and Life & Style Weekly, Diana moved to The Heights in 2014 and has been living in Jersey City since then. Diana enjoys riding her bike at Lincoln Park and taking fitness classes in the downtown area in her free time. She loves binging reality TV shows, dining out and grabbing drinks with friends, and traveling to new places. Her work has led her to meet and interview celebrities as well as attend exclusive events and premieres in New York City. But at the end of the day, what she enjoys the most is cuddling up with her newly adopted kitten, Chloe.