Why Queen Latifah invented a ‘no death clause’ for her movie contracts


Queen Latifah is just trying to live.

The 52-year-old actress is one of Hollywood’s longest running success stories, having starred in hit TV and film roles while making smash-hit records since 1989.

However, there’s one rule she has while picking her projects: not dying while on screen.

Queen Latifah, who currently stars in Netflix’s “End of the Road,” appeared on “The Drew Barrymore Show” recently and revealed that she has a “no death clause” in her filming contracts.

A “no death clause” in an actor’s agreement signifies that their character can’t die in a story.

“You know, what happened at the beginning of my career … my characters died in the movies and apparently I died my a– off,” Latifah joked to host Drew Barrymore.

“I was like, ‘Wait a minute, if I keep dying in these movies, I can’t do a sequel,’” the “U.N.I.T.Y” singer added.

Latifah then advised her team, “Yo, we got to put a no death clause in my contracts.” 

The Drew Barrymore Show
Queen Latifah appeared on the “Drew Barrymore Show” on Oct. 6.
The Drew Barrymore Show

“Henceforth, we kind of threw it in there,” she noted, adding that she named the clause, “a little off the cuff funniness.”

“I was like, ‘No more dying. No more getting shot up by 300 bullets in this car,’” she said. 

Many stars have “no nudity clauses” in their contracts, and are barred from showing skin on camera. “I love that yours is a no death clause,” Barrymore quipped.

“I was like no, you can show my butt if you need too. Here’s my butt, and it’s live,” the “Living Single” actress stated.

The New Jersey native previously discussed the clause last month, on the red carpet for her new film.

TAXI, Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon, 2004, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.
Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon in 2004’s “Taxi.”
©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

She told Entertainment Tonight that she’s had the segment “since the beginning” of her career, however, she realized that it actually came about due to how often her characters went RIP in her early pictures.

Latifah said, “No, I noticed I was too good at it, so it’s kind of a running joke.”

“I was like, ‘I don’t get to do any sequels if I keep being this good at [dying].’ So I said, ‘Look, you gotta put a no death clause in these contracts so they can’t just kill me off like this. I’m never gonna get a sequel in!” she laughed.