NEW YORK, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- New York-born singer-actress Alicia Keys says she immediately "fell in love" with the book that inspired her new movie "The Secret Lives of Bees."
The 27-year-old actress, who previously appeared in "Smokin' Aces" and "The Nanny Diaries," said she loved the character development in author Sue Monk Kidd's novel, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.
"I just fell in love with it," Keys said. "It just felt like you knew the people in that book. It's a beautiful story -- and one not often told about this time in the civil rights movement."
Keys plays a woman who, along with her two sisters, runs a honey farm where the movie's lead character seeks refuge after a violent incident.
For Keys, acting alongside such cinema stars as Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo was part of her ongoing growth as an actress.
"I grew up around the theater; I've always respected it very much. And I just want to continue to learn by surrounding myself with great actors -- and also by being free enough to try everything that feels right," Keys told the Daily News regarding "Bees," which will be released Friday.