Co-stars Keke Palmer and Kirk Franklin talk about their film, Palmer’s first screen kiss and Franklin’s gun

Written by  Nina Hemphill Reeder

Joyful Noise, starring Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton and Keke Palmer hits theaters Friday, January 13. The 18-year-old Palmer, who plays Olivia in the film, had no problem transitioning from her Nickelodeon show to this more mature role, where she shares her first on-screen kiss. And she had no problem holding her own with this multitalented, multigenerational and multicultural cast. The young singer/actress even picked up a few tips and trade secrets from the CoverGirl and the country star.



We sat down with Keke Palmer and gospel superstar Kirk Franklin, who makes a cameo appearance in the film, to talk about the movie, Palmer’s kiss and Franklin’s gunplay.

Keke Palmer

On her experience working with Queen Latifah

I love Queen Latifah. This is my second time getting to work with her…But in this movie, I really got to learn how she created her wonderful empire. The people that she is working with now, she has been working with since she was in high school. And it was just like really interesting to see how she carved all this out for herself.


And Dolly Parton

Talking to her and learning also from watching, [I learned] that no matter how many things you do or how well respected you are in this industry, always treat people with that same appreciation. She is kind to everyone. I remember one day on set she brought everybody little fudge cubes. She is just a really sweet person.


On not being just another church film

I think a lot of the comedy and some situations that make the people laugh [will surprise people]…Just because it is a churchy film doesn’t mean we don’t necessarily cross any lines or do anything like that.


On growing up and her kissing scene

When I did the kissing scene, I thought it was going to be way more dramatic than [what] I watched on film. But still at the same time with people knowing me as Akeelah, it will still be shocking anyway because they’ve never seen me kiss in a movie. But I love the way it was done because it shows a young girl coming of age…You just see her growing up. [You see her] growing pains, problems with her mother, trying to find out who she is [and] falling in love. So people will probably be a little bit shocked, but people will say, “Wow, Keke is growing up.”

Kirk Franklin

On creating an original song for a mainstream film

That type of gospel music is not like Stomp. It’s more of high-energy performance [music]. That was my attempt when I was writing the song. I was writing it with the shot in my mind of what we were trying to accomplish as far as that particular scene, which was fun because you don’t normally have a lot of opportunities coming from this genre to do that—to be intentional when it comes to marrying music with particular visual.

On the type of father he is

I try to show more than I preach. I really try to spend more time working our life with [my children]. I try to show my daughters by how they see me treat their mom…And of course I act a fool. [My daughter] had this little boy on Skype. And me and my homeboys stood behind her on Skype with some guns.


On what he wants to see change in 2012

I am really once again frustrated and want to be able to be a push for people’s view of how they see faith. That’s a very important thing to me. As we become more of a secular society, I believe we are still people [who] were created for something bigger than just science and technology. As we see Christianity in a decline in our country for so many different reasons, I want to be passionate about that message of love, grace and truth.



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