Exclusive: Jada Pinkett Smith On Girls Trip

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Exclusive: Jada Pinkett Smith On Girls Trip
Posted by Wilson Morales

July 20, 2017

Coming out this week from Universal Pictures is director/producer Malcolm D. Lee’s upcoming comedy, Girls Trip, starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Larenz Tate, Kate Walsh, Mike Colter, and Kofi Siriboe.

When four lifelong friends—Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish—travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

For Jada Pinkett Smith, who plays Lisa, this is second film in recent years where she’s been part of a female driven film. Last year, she starred opposite Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn in the blockbuster hit ‘Bad Moms,’ and with ‘Girls Trip,’ not only is she teaming with a talented cast but it’s also her first film with Queen Latifah since they starred in ‘Set It Off’ over 20 years ago.

In speaking with Blackfilm.com, Pinkett Smith talks about her role, working on this film and reuniting with Queen Latifah onscreen again.

You had a success “Bad Moms” last year, or two years ago. What was your decision to saying ‘yes’ to doing another female driven film?

Jada Pinkett Smith: I’m always looking for female-driven films. And I’m also really focused on comedies right now, so it was just perfect.

Can you talk about playing Lisa. Were you given a choice as to which character you wanted to play?

Jada Pinkett Smith: No, actually. They pretty much had in their minds what they wanted everybody to do. And so when I read the character, I was like, “Oh, this is perfect. I relate to her a lot.”

How would you describe Lisa?

Jada Pinkett Smith: She’s basically a woman who’s been lost in her domestic life, in raising her kids and working, and kind of lost her groove. And so her friends take her back to the Essence Festival to help her get her groove back.

Now you’ve been to the Essence Festival before, so what’s it like now doing a movie there?

Jada Pinkett Smith: It was just a lot of fun; great people. It was really a great time shooting a film at Essence.

Part of what makes a film look good is the chemistry between the cast. And honestly in watching this movie, there was a great chemistry between you and the other ladies. How was working with all of them?

Jada Pinkett Smith: It was fantastic. These are women who will be friends of mine for the rest of my life. And not only do I feel like I was able to make a really great movie, but I got good friends out of it as well.

Now this is the first time, I think, people have seen you and Queen onscreen together in years. What was that moment like?

Jada Pinkett Smith: It was fun. I mean, Queen is a good friend of mine so it’s kind of, it’s a easy flow. We did look at each other and we were like, “Oh man, we need to do this more often.” But I don’t know. It just hasn’t felt like it’s been 21 years since we were onscreen together.

Even though you don’t have a lot of scenes together since the first time, you and Larenz are in the same film together since Menace II Society and The Inkwell.

Jada Pinkett Smith: Yeah, same thing. He and I hadn’t been in a film together in a long time.

With a film that’s filled with veterans and newcomers, were you more like the mentor to a number of actors on the set?

Jada Pinkett Smith: Not really. Everybody’s a pro. They might seem like a newcomer to some, but like, Tiffany Haddish has been around for a very long time. You know what I’m saying? So the great thing about it is that everybody was a pro on set. Everybody is pretty up on their craft, and so we were just all there to play together.

I think one of the highlights of the movie that people will be talking about will be the zipline scene. How was it filming that?

Jada Pinkett Smith: It was a lot of fun. It’s one of those moments of just, an outrageous comedic moment. And I’m just glad that they had the courage to write something like that. I found it to be just a lot of fun.

How are you like Lisa?

Jada Pinkett Smith: You know, I’m a mother of two children, and I know what it’s like to be focused on your kids and that be your main focus. And then you come up and you realize, “Oh man, I’ve really been doing the mother thing.” And your girlfriends are like, “Girl, it’s time for you to get your groove.” And so I really do understand that particular arc.

When you’re shooting in New Orleans it can be very hot. One of the things I remember that Malcolm talked about was hair and clothes. How was it for you when you when you’re shooting a film down there?

Jada Pinkett Smith: Yeah, you just figure it out, you know what I’m saying. It’s just I guess that as an actor, that comes with the territory. We usually have to shoot in climates that aren’t ideal, whether it’s the cold, whether it’s humidity, whether it’s hot. I was in “Gotham” in the snow with no clothes on, basically. You just figure it out. That’s just part of the gig.

What goes into the roles that you say ‘yes’ to?

Jada Pinkett Smith: Just commitment, you know. Just commitment. Once I say I’m going to do something, I go full on.

What’s the draw to Girls Trip?

Jada Pinkett Smith: The sell to the film? I think that one of the things about making movies starring women is that you really don’t see a lot of films that are focused on female issues and from the feminine perspective. So I always think that that’s interesting for movie audiences, is the female journey is not something that is explored a lot. And I think something like “Girls Trip” is just a really interesting, funny theme because people want to know what do girls do on girls trips. “Do you do what I do?” Guys want to know, “What is going on when I’m not there with my woman? Or when my mom says she’s going on a girls trip, or my sister?”

It just gives you an insight to a world you don’t know. And when you can do it through laughter and heart and a beautiful message like this movie has, I think that’s a beautiful sell. And I think the biggest sell of all is that it looks very fun. And I think in this day and age, people are ready to laugh and have a good time.

Girls Trip hits theaters on July 21.

Restricted Trailer

Trailer 2

Clip – Lisa meets Malik in the hotel lobby

Clip – Ryan gives her agent some advice

Clip – Dina explains where she hides her drugs

Clip – Lisa shows the girls the vests she made

Clip – The absinthe starts to kick in at the club

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