Tiffany Haddish on How Her Crenshaw Mall Days Inspired Her Bold New Magazine Cover (Exclusive)
By Mona Khalifeh
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Tiffany Haddish is booked and busy, and that's just the way she likes it. The Card Counter actress spoke with ET's Kevin Frazier at The West Hollywood EDITION at the reception for her Cultured magazine cover, about the projects she has in the works and what inspired her glam look for the cover of the art, design and architecture magazine, where she was interviewed by The Card Counter's director, Paul Schrader.
On the magazine's cover, the 41-year-old funny woman stuns in a ruffled, fuchsia dress that is made all the more eye-catching by her platinum blonde updo. Haddish explained the inspiration behind the bold look for the magazine cover and the fashion-forward spread that followed.
"I remember my mom took me to a little -- there was something going on at the Crenshaw mall, and there was a Black model, she had blonde hair. And I was like, 'Mommy, what's wrong with her hair?' She was like, 'We are Black, we can wear any color hair,'" she said, explaining the look. "'You can wear anything. You see the tones of her skin, how pretty she looks.' And then she started making references to X-Men and Storm and all of that, so I was like, 'Oh, yeah.'"
The artistic cover is accompanied by an interview with Schrader, and while she admitted that he didn't ask her anything that surprised her, Haddish did share that the "dramatic turn" she takes in the film, opposite Oscar Isaac, found her having to "play it straight," which she admits didn't come easy to her.
"I'm so used to being in a heavy situation and being like, 'Where can I find the funny in this, where can I find the fun?' And I like that challenge, it's a challenge, it's not easy to do comedy, right? And then Paul was like, 'Play it straight, I don't want any laughing, I don't want no jokes, like, play it straight.' And I was like, 'Uh, is this, this is boring?' Like it feels like it can be kind of boring, right?" Haddish said of the foreign feeling that came with taking "the funny" out of the film.
She continued, "And then I remember, like, it was probably the third or fourth scene that we did, I was like, 'Paul, I'm gonna need to see the playback because I feel like that was really bad. Like, that was really, really bad.' And he was like, 'That was amazing, that was great.' And I was like, 'Nah, man, that was bad. I'm so bored that's gotta be horrible.' And he's like, 'That was really good,' and I was like, 'Playback, playback. I need to see playback.' They play it back and I'm like, 'Oh damn.' That is kind of amazing, because you don't have to do anything sometimes, you can just be."
While it's a different light than we're used to seeing her in, Haddish herself was even surprised by her performance.
"When I seen the whole movie, 'I was like, "Well dang, Tiff, who is you?'" she said with a chuckle.
And it's not the last dramatic role for her either, as Haddish is set to star on the Apple TV+ series The After Party, streaming in January.
"I want to do a little bit of everything, like, I would like to keep mixing it up," she said of taking on the role.
In addition to all the projects she's got lined up, The Haunted Mansion star is also an ambassador for Vitafusion, which is donating $100,000 to WhyHunger, which is working to build healthy, nourished communities by supporting long-term solutions to end hunger for good and provide people with nutritious food.
"I'm the ambassador for Vitafusion, and I teamed up with them because I love what they're doing, and how they're bringing -- first of all, I love some good vitamins, personally I need vitamins to do what I do," Haddish said.
"They're donating up to $100,000 to the WhyHunger fund, we're raising money to make sure there is nutritional food in these underserved communities, and I think that's awesome. I come from that world," she added.
You can see Haddish show off her dramatic side in The Card Counter, in theaters now.
Tune in to Tuesday's Entertainment Tonight for more of ET's interview with Haddish.