Meet Tiffany Haddish—the break out star in Malcolm D. Lee’s new film “Girls Trip”

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Who’s That Girl? – Meet Tiffany Haddish—the break out star in Malcolm D. Lee’s new film “Girls Trip” who’s going all the way up!
Posted by Dominga Martin

July 14, 2017

Opening up on July 21 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 Tiffany Haddish, the now-cancelled Carmichael Show actress has a come-up story made for inspirational books.  A young woman who grew up in the system and in foster care after a tragic car accident left her mom mentally and physically disabled.  She found herself bouncing from one foster home to the next, and finally landing with her grandmother at the age of 13.  However, she was still considered “state property” finding herself in and out of court, and being monitored by the system.  As time progresses, Tiffany began “acting out” and getting into trouble after being unstable since the age of 9.  By the age of 15, as summer approached, her social worker gave her two choices:  “You can go to the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp or you can go to psychiatric therapy ‘cause something’s wrong with you chile.”

Sounds like a line straight out of a film, however this is real life, and Tiffany decided to go to comedy camp rather than being another statistic.

“I was getting into a lot of trouble at school,” says Tiffany, and continues—“But I was winning these drama competitions, so she (social worker) felt like I needed an outlet.”

Being involved in the comedy camp was an eye opening, and life changing experience for Tiffany.

“It was the first time that a man ever told me that I was beautiful.  The first time I didn’t think something bad was going to happen to me.  The first time someone told me I was smart.  They sat down and showed me how to construct jokes…it was like people cared…and these were not just regular people, these were comedians like: Charles Fleischer who was the voice for Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  My favorite movie of all time, which inspired me to be funny.”

Growing up in South Central, LA Tiffany found herself using comedy as a crutch to prevent bullies from beating her up and to make friends.  She had this bright idea after seeing “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

She reminisces:

“There is a scene in the film where a character says (paraphrasing!): “Why are all these people doing all these nice things for you?!” And the Detective’s replied: “Because I make them laugh!”

Tiffany thought, this was a genius idea to keep the bullies away, so she started to make people laugh, for protection.

However, It didn’t take Tiffany long to figure out that comedy was a goal to better her circumstances, so she continued to stay in comedy camp and out of trouble.

And then, like a magic moment.  Everything changed.

“One day, Richard Pryor came in.  He rolled in on his wheel chair and I was on stage…he stopped me in the middle of telling jokes, and yells:”

“What are you doing?!”

She replied: I’m telling jokes”

His response: “No, you’re not.”

She shoots back, “Yes, I am.”

After a few neck twirls back and fourth, and a scene reminiscent of “Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure’s “I know you are, but what am I?” moment, Tiffany finally asked him: “So what am I doing?” The late Richard Pryor responded:  “You’re getting on my damn nerves, that’s what you’re doing!”

She remembers he continued: “Look, people don’t want to come to comedy shows to hear about your problems, politics, religion or what’s going on in the world or about celebrities.  They come to comedy shows because they want to have fun.  So when you’re on stage, you need to be having fun.”

“And I have taken that philosophy with me with everything I do in life,” says Tiffany

From that point on Tiffany’s career was on a fast forward flight upwards, to new heights.

Her first paying gig was on “That’s So Raven”.

With excitement, she recalls: “And I got paid…BOOM!”

Laughter…

“And I was in a Wes Craven movie, cast as a “Screamer”

“The movie, “Scream?” I asked.

“No, no, no…” she says and continues—“my role was screamer.  I just had to scream, and that got me into the union.”

Soon, Tiffany found herself cast in the film Keanu and NBC’s The Carmichael Show, and then, the biggest role of her career: GIRLS TRIP.

“It’s so funny,” she says—“the crew members who shot Keanu in New Orleans, were the same crew members hired to work on Girls Trip.  I had no clue about this movie, and people started emailing me and forwarding me the script, telling me not to tell anybody!”

She adds:

“They were like, ‘this role is YOU!  This is who you were last summer…this is your role!  You have to get this job!’  So I read it and I started forwarding it to my agent.  And my agent said: “Oh. they’re looking for someone with a name.”

Tiffany shot back!

“I got a name!  I had a name since 1979…you tell them I was born with a name.”

“I auditioned and I gave 110 percent.”

3 days later, after a Skype interview with film producer Will Packer, she was hired and on her way back to NOLA–cast as the bodacious and hilarious “Dina” alongside ReGina Hall, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett-Smith.

In Girls Trip, Tiffany plays “the ride or die chick”, Your very loyal homegirl who goes from ZERO to 100, real quick!  The girlfriend you can count on for raw, honest truth; who has your back in every circumstance, even if you didn’t ask for it.  Her character may seem a little crazy, but every girl needs a little crazy in their corner!  Dina is the comedy relief and her realness keeps the circle of friends grounded.

“Dina never chills, she’s all the way up!” says Tiffany.

Watching this film, one may feel the familiarity of her new face and realize she is reminiscent of a young Vivica Fox.  Tiffany’s got “that thing” that draws you into her and gravitates on screen.  Beauty.  Sass.  Around the way girl warmth.  She is the life of the party.  The girl who girls want to be friends with.

“Girl, I was so excited when I got the role, and I just kept telling myself: ‘God blessed you with the opportunity to work with these women, so go in and learn from them.’

It is that optimistic approach on life that has gotten Tiffany to where she is today—mixed in with a little Black Girl Magic!

“It was like a dream come true,” she adds:  “I remember seeing “Set it Off” and thinking, ‘I wish they were my friends!’ and I used to tell my best friend that one day Jada Pinkett would be my friend.”

Naysayers begged to differ with her audacious dreams, however…

“BOOM! Now they’re playing my best friends in a movie, and now we’re like actual friends, we talk and we hang out, we laugh…it is AMAZING how good God is and having a positive outlook on things…even when it’s bad, find the good in it and things work out ok.”

She adds:

“You know, I know what pain is and I know what joy is and I’m going to always gravitate toward the joy [and] I’m going to use that pain to amplify that.  Like, if I can have any super power in the world it would be to control happiness.  I think you can run the world if you control happiness!”

There is no doubt that Tiffany Haddish is getting ready to take Hollywood by storm.  She is currently filming a new TV sitcom in Brooklyn, with Tracy Morgan, entitled: “The Last OG”, her first leading lady role in a sitcom.  Tiffany plays the ex-girlfriend of a man (Morgan) who returns home from jail after 15 years and tries to win her back.

Her summer wraps with the debut of her first comedy show on Showtime entitled: “She Ready: From The Hood to Hollywood.”  Where she shares her experience and journey and how she finds the beauty in it.

Tiffany has only just begun. She’s more than ready.  She’s here and making her mark.  She’s all the way up!  Stay tuned.

Girls Trip is in theaters nationwide July 21st.

Trailer 2

Clip – Lisa meets Malik in the hotel lobby


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