Whoopi Goldberg didn’t have to think twice about signing on for Lifetime’s April 19 “A Day Late and a Dollar Short.” p>”It was literally, the executive producer called and said, ‘Listen, we have this project and we want you to be in it. We’re doing it for Lifetime.’ And I said, ‘Oh, okay.’ It was really that succinct,” says Whoopi, who turns in a brilliant performance as the irascible, dying Viola, trying to help her woefully dysfunctional family resolve their many problems — without letting them know her condition — in this adaptation of the Terry McMillan book. She adds, “We shot it during a break that I had so it didn’t interfere with ‘The View’ or anything, so it was perfect.”
She tells us she liked the fact that “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” has an important underlying theme about living life fully aware that time will not stand still for anyone. “Death comes to everybody. It doesn’t care how old you are. I’m sure that as a kid Viola thought she was going to live forever, and suddenly she finds, ‘You have no time left.’ So she tries to fix everything she can fix, and, you know, you can’t.”
Whoopi also has a role in the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” feature being unveiled in August. “People know that I love superhero stuff. I’ve always loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and have wanted to be in it, and have said that over the years, and finally somebody listened,” she says.
Then there’s her dramatic feature coming out later this year with Patrick Wilson and Ashley Judd, “Big Stone Gap,” based on the best-selling series of novels set in the Virginia hamlet. “My friend Adriana Trigiani wrote ‘Big Stone Gap’ and when I met her, she said, ‘I wrote this for you.’ Isn’t that cool?” she says of the best-selling author. “And she said, ‘When I get the money, we’re going to make this into a film.’ And it took her 15 years, but she did it. It’s wonderful.”
Besides “The View” and acting assignments, she has a calendar filled with comedy show dates. “You have to be 18 to get into my shows, but parents tend to bring their kids anyway,” notes Whoopi with surprise. She works blue to put it mildly. “It is interesting, whenever I spot kids, I go, ‘Do you know what I talk about?’ And they go, ‘Yeah.’ And it’s okay. We think it’s okay for her to hear it from you, or him to hear it from you.'”
Of course, then there are the kids in her own life, three grandchildren, offspring of her daughter Amarah Dean, and, since March 15, one granddaughter.
The EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) winner is 58 now — very young for being a great-grandmother. Does her humor help her deal with getting older?
“Well, the only to answer to that question is, what is the alternative? And once you come to terms with that,” she says, “everything else is gravy.”