'Girls Trip' Breakout Tiffany Haddish Dishes on Her Big Week
"I was expecting [the reaction] to be good, but not at this level," Haddish tells THR of the box-office success, critical and fan reaction to Malcolm D. Lee's sisterhood celebration.
The Sunday after the release of the new comedy Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish woke up to over 400 text messages. "I was like 'Oh. My. God,'" says Haddish of the unexpected onslaught. "I think about 100 were from my cousin, though." As of Wednesday afternoon, she had 194 left to go through.
In the Malcolm D. Lee-directed comedy, Haddish plays Dina, the loud-talking, hard-partying member of the Flossy Posse, which also includes Regina Hall, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith. It's a performance cited by many critics as a Bridesmaids' Melissa McCarthy-style breakout. "While it occasionally gets a tad gross, her fearlessness is breathtaking," reads The Hollywood Reporter's review of Haddish handling the majority of the film's raunchier bits, including (but not limited to) simulated oral sex via a grapefruit.
A stand-up comedian by trade, Haddish had a supporting role in The Carmichael Show and Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele's movie Keanu before landing her role in Girls Trip. The movie debuted as the highest-grossing R-rated comedy in two years, bringing in $31 million its first weekend. Ahead of the movie's second weekend in theaters, Haddish, who will release her Showtime stand-up special, She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood, on Aug. 18, talked to THR about the days following the release of her star-making role and what's next for her — hopefully, she says, Leonardo DiCaprio.
Were you expecting this type of reaction to Girls Trip?
I was expecting it to be good, but not at this level. Look, when they were screening and testing the movie, a couple of people that I went to school with that I hadn't talked to in a long time went and they were hitting me up on Facebook. They were texting me like, "That movie is phenomenal! This is your thing, this is going to take over. You are out of here, Tiffany." That was six months ago. Then I finally see the movie and when I got into my car, I was crying because that movie made me feel so good. The response has been ridiculous. I went to this store thinking it was going to be all cool and some girl was like, "Oh, you in here to get some grapefruit, girl!" And I was like, "Oh, you know I am!" It felt so good.
What do you think it is about Dina that people are attracted to?
Because that character is everyone's inner little bad child. Everybody has a friend like that. Everybody wants to be outspoken, yell and have a great time. The way society is, you have to be a certain type of way. And then here is [Dina] saying, "I don't care what they say, I'm gonna do this. I'm getting wasted. I'm gonna fuck who I want. I don't care, you can call me out all you want, but I'm winning." I like people like that. A lot of my friends are like that. Not worried about what other people think, just enjoying you and being you. It's so real. [Girls Trip] is a movie, but she's real to me.
Has anyone reached out to you that you were floored by or weren't expecting?
Tyler Perry called me and he said, "You know I got this big deal." And I said, "That sounds good, but when you get Oprah to call me, I'll meet with you." (Laughs.) I've worked with him before but I haven't heard from him in like two years. And then John Singleton called me and he was like, "Are you really from south L.A.?" and he said, "Oh, we got to work on something." I got invited to Jamie Foxx's house [Tuesday] night for a party. I went but I didn't want to because I've been to his parties before, and I really wasn't feeling it because I was tired. I was trying to leave and one of his boys was like, "No you can't leave, Jamie said not to let you leave until he gets here. He has something he wants to say to you." And I said, "It's 1 a.m. I am leaving. Tell Jamie that I'll see him in these streets. Bye!"
Is there anything you are looking for in your upcoming projects?
I am looking for Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell. I am looking for Viola Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey. These are people I want to work with, OK? I am looking for the greats and the good-lookings to work with me. That's it. If I could get Meryl Streep to play my momma, I would be the happiest person on earth.
What I was actually thinking for my next special is that maybe I'll do a bunch of sketches, but only have A-list celebrities in [them]. Leonardo DiCaprio could be one of my husbands, we would do a reverse on Big Love and I have four husbands. Throw Brad Pitt in there, Will Ferrell could make me laugh and Colin Farrell, too. I just am making this up in my head right now but Michael B. Jordan comes in and says, "You are in a marriage with all these white men?" And then I'd say, "You want to be my fifth husband?" And then I marry him.
You have your Showtime special coming out soon. Will you continue to make time for stand-up?
Yes! Stand-up is my first love and I am going to go do a show tonight. I have to be up at 5 a.m. but I am going to do two shows tonight, one for a charity benefit at 9 p.m. and then I'm going to go to the Comedy Store at 10 p.m. I better be in the bed by 11:30 p.m.
Is there any genre outside of comedy you want to try out?
I really want to try action movies. I would love to be a superhero and my superpower would be that I could control peoples' happiness. That would be a good movie. I would love to do an action flick. I would love to do some mystery or murder mystery type of stuff. Even thrillers, it depends on what it is, but I would do a horror movie. I ain't messing with no demons or anything like that. It would depend on what it is. Definitely some drama. There will be a sprinkle of some drama in my career, that's for sure. I would love to do a stage play.
If there is a sequel to Girls Trip, what do you want to see?
I would love to see them going to Essence Fest in South Africa. And they got to South Africa thinking they are going to be around some Africans and then finding out that a lot of white people live there and being in complete shock. Like Dina going, "You African?" And she finds out how prejudiced she might actually be and grow from that and marry a white man. Or a white African. I am just making that up, but I would like to do South Africa.
Thank you for getting on the phone with me during your busy week.
I hope you have the most wonderful rest of the day and something magical happens — like you see a unicorn or get a promotion or find one million dollars or something.
I hope you see a unicorn, too!
Oh, I'll just look in the mirror, honey.