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Hollywood Food Fight Makes A "Joyful Noise'' At Howard's

Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton were flinging pizza and wings at one another last week at the Smyrna Restaurant.

Business is back to normal at this week after Hollywood recently took over the Smyrna favorite eating establishment.

“It felt like a circus had come to town, times ten!” said Bobby Martin, who along with his wife Sandra owns the friendly restaurant that’s been a city mainstay since 1964.

The craziness came with the arrival of Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton and the entire “Joyful Noise’’ film crew to shoot a scene for the upcoming movie. The restaurant was closed Feb. 25-March 1 as trucks filled the parking lot and a crew of 150-plus people descending upon the Concord Road eatery.

The film centers on characters played by Parton and Latifah in a power struggle to determine who is better suited to run a church choir. The scene filmed at Howard’s featured a massive food fight between the characters that was reportedly hilarious to witness among all who saw.

According to a media representative with the film’s production company, the scene is expected to be one of the highlights of the film.

Martin said he “cooked, cleaned, cooked, cleaned, and then did it again,’’ as there were club sandwiches, spaghetti, pizza, wings, burgers, and salads flying through the air.

“Queen Latifah was hilarious and kept everyone laughing,” said Martin, who clearly enjoyed being a part of the movie-making experience.

Martin added that Parton was “nice and friendly,’’ as well, and he was pleased that Queen Latifah sported a Howard’s apron and that the restaurant’s name could appear in the scene.

Martin invited his family, friends and staff to be among the 65 extras utilized, including Mayor Max Bacon, who played a satisfied Howard’s customer, which he actually is in real life. Martin himself played the part of a customer, while his two daughters were a cashier and a hostess.

“I wasn’t doing it for the money, but for the fun of it,’’ he said. “It is also nice to have my restaurant in a movie.”

“Joyful Noise’’ is being produced by the same company that produced the hit “The Blind Side." It has a January 2012 tentative release date.

Not a Fool March 08, 2011 at 01:38 AM
Nice story, thanks. Bobby Martin
Vince Wagers March 08, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Great story! Dolly looks fantastic!!!!!! Dolly fan, Vince Wagers
pogo art (Gary) March 08, 2011 at 08:25 PM
love the idea that Hollywood has hit Howards restaurant. Was Sandra there and did you make Max look good. You look good Bobby along side of Dolly. What do you think Dad Howard would have said. A Howards long time patron.
christa March 09, 2011 at 02:40 AM
this is awesome. i grew up in smyrna and always loved Howards!!!!! i havent been home in years but still dream about a beef eaters choice!!!!!
Debra Perez March 10, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Hello Bobby, It was a pleasure meeting you and your lovely family and friends while filming at Howards. I drive past your restaurant frequently, and look forwards to stopping by and having a bite to eat real soon! Debra Perez

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