EXCLUSIVE: On set and behind the scenes of ‘Like a Boss’ with Tiffany Haddish
There’s probably no one better to sit down and truly keekee with than Tiffany Haddish.
Because what you get is exactly what you see on screen: a real relatable homegirl who still hasn’t been corrupted by Hollywood so much that she would turn into a difficult diva. Oh no, Haddish is instead still down to earth like her feisty character in Girls Trip. And she’s open and had a lot to say on set when I got a chance to visit her live and in action shooting her new movie Like a Boss in Atlanta this past year.
During a roundtable discussion with a select group of media outlets, Haddish sounded off about doing her own stunts and why people should secure the bag in real life with their besties. We also had a little laugh about how to cook my own greens a little better. Haddish is a gardener of sorts and she’s landed an endorsement deal with Lawry’s seasoning.
The movie, Like a Boss, stars Haddish as Mia Carter, a co-owner of Mel & Mia’s with a brash personality and a desire to get rich quick.
Best friends Mia and Mel run their own cosmetics company — a business they built from the ground up. But they’re also in over their heads financially, and the prospect of a buyout offer from an industry titan proves too tempting to pass up. The beauty business is now about to get ugly as the proposal puts Mia and Mel’s lifelong friendship to the ultimate test.
Rose Byrne, plays Mel, Mia’s bestie and both of them get burned by Claire Luna, played by Salma Hayek, a cosmetics mogul who obtains a controlling share of Mel & Mia’s promising to bail out the owners, but only until she can steal their innovative new product ideas for herself.
I was on edge, watching Haddish perform her own stunts. When you see the movie, there’s a particular scene where she is spread eagle over a ledge holding a banner in a mall. Yes, she actually performed that dangerous stunt, tethered to wires of course, but she’s just that type of dare devil on screen as she is off.
So you’re everyone’s BFF in their head at least, you got Girl’s Trip, now you’re a BFF in this movie, Like a Boss, and fall out with your BFF, so we see where it’s a good fit, but what drew you to this project?
Haddish: “Well the opportunity to be able to show the female relationship. Which I think is super important. And I think a lot of women can relate to it. We all have our girlfriends. There’s some females out there like, “I don’t have no girlfriends,” and I don’t trust bitches like that. (she says laughing)
But I really think it’s important to show the dynamic of a real friendship and how they have its ups and down. The think that I love most about it is that these girls love each other and it’s clear that they love each other and got each other’s backs, and it’s always somebody coming in talking mad, straight instigate and mess up the relationship. But they figure out that they love each other so much they we not fittin’ to let this stop us from creating this awesome thing that we’re tying to create.
So I think hat’s super important and I hate when people say, ‘oh you can’t do business with your friends. Then that means they’re not really your friends, cause they’re not being open and honest. You know. Because if you’re open and honest about how you feel about something then you guys are able to work together. It’s like why would I make millions with a stranger if I could make millions with my bestie and then we could hit the islands. In my mind I think that’s the best way to do a business.
If we go by Bible times and y’all lived in a village, y’all had to work with your friends, cousins or whatever. In society, I don’t know what happened in the mix, but it’s like don’t do business with your friends and that’s to me is dumb. Cause your friends know you.
You doing your own stunts? Can we talk about that part! Were you like yes and they were trying to tell you no?
Haddish: They were trying to tell me no and I was like no I want to do my stunts because personally I hate when I go to the movies and I’m like, ‘that person is clearly NOT that person! The body is messed up! That’s not that same color.’ I hate it! Like ‘the hair if f*cked up, that’s not them!’ I personally HATE it. I’d rather do, if you gonna do a stunt double, just make it a white woman. Let’s make it all the way crazy funny. I like to do my own stunts and if I feel like it’s all the way crazy where I can’t do it, then I’ll be like then maybe we should try something else but I like it to look real.
Where you afraid?
Haddish: No, I ain’t never scared. Look I’ve been shot at so. Hanging off the side of a building ain’t nothing! I’m from South Central Los Angeles okay? This ain’t that bad! (laughter) They got cords and everything. I think they don’t want me to die. And if I do die they can take care of my family, cause they asking for refrigerators and all kinds of stuff. And I don’t feel like buying.
You’re a comedian, and you really moved into the acting space. Is it everything that you expected it to be and did you see your life moving in this direction?
Acting is fun and everything to play pretend but personally I just always wanted to do stand-up. Like and I wanted to make a good living at stand up. I love being able to share experiences with people…Make them laugh and bring joy to a roomful of people and instantly do that. Like I’m enjoying THIS conversation. I enjoy it immensely. It is my cocaine, it is my drug, it is my everything. So when I was only making $10 dollars a show and a $25 a show and I got an agent and my agent was like the only way you can make money is if you get some exposure, you’re going to have to get on TV. That’s the only way you’ll make money as a comedian. I got on TV. Then I took some acting classes to strengthen my standup set to make my characters stronger in stand up. And it kinda opened up everything in the acting world. Acting is great. I love it. I enjoy it. But I prefer the immediate gratification of standup.
I made some joyful greens and they were pretty sad, but I’m wondering how did you react to people who criticized you for getting a deal with Lawry’s.
I didn’t see the negative things but I did an interview and a lady told me about it about the negative things they said, and I was laughing because I was like, I bet you they got Lawry’s in their cabinet! I bet they were like dang, ‘why didn’t I get on that bottle and why she the one. Shit… I wanted to be Uncle Ben. I wanted to be the one’ So I’m not tripping. It’s a huge accomplishment. To me it’s us claiming something that has been ours for a long time.
If you feel any different, oh well! Stop using Lawry’s seasoning salt and see how your food tastes. But why your shit ain’t come out right?
I don’t know why I need a better recipe!
Was you smiling the whole time?
I wasn’t smiling.
Well you supposed to be smiling the whole time. They are joyful greens you have to have joy in your heart whole you making it. You probably forgot to put something in there.
Kia Morgan Smith, Founder of Keekeeing with Kia.
In no particular order, I’m a writer, a mom, wife, cupcake slayer, an outspoken activist and cultural critic. I’m a Philly girl who has made Georgia my home, but I’m no Georgia peach. I’ve got a flair for being funny, witty and a deep desire to one day DJ a party for the people. I love hip-hop and can’t nobody make me feel differently about it.