Tahiti, Barbados, Mexico, Hawaii. All of those destinations are on Regina Hall’s wish list for getaways with her girlfriends. “I always want to go somewhere warm,” she says. “I would probably not be like, ‘Oh, let’s go somewhere it’s freezing and ski.’”
For now, Hall is vacationing vicariously through Ryan Pierce, her character in the forthcoming movie Girls Trip, which is set in New Orleans during the annual Essence Festival. When Ryan, an author, and the “Flossy Posse” — her friends from college, played by Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Tiffany Haddish — reunite after years apart, it’s not exactly a relaxing spa weekend. There are hallucinations, a club fight and a ziplining disaster that leaves a character stranded above the streets, desperately in need of a bathroom. “Somehow that trip goes all wrong,” Hall says.
A native of Washington, Hall studied journalism in graduate school at NYU but decided to pursue acting. Her Hollywood career spans more than 20 years and includes roles in films like Scary Movie and Think Like a Man. For Girls Trip, Hall reunited with the director Malcolm D. Lee of The Best Man.
Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah in ‘Girls Trip’
In a recent interview in New York, Hall, 46, talked about one of her own vacations and spoofing the Weeknd on “Lip Sync Battle.” These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Q: What’s a memorable moment from one of your own girls’ trips?
A: I ran out of money (in Jamaica) before I was working, and I was broke. We didn’t have departure tax money. Well, we did, but we wanted to buy rum, so we just said we didn’t. We were at the bar waiting for the bartender to put down drinks for other people, and we would just pick them up and walk away. There’s a little bit of fear in there that you can laugh about later and go, “Oh my God.”
Q: Does every woman need her own Flossy Posse?
A: It’s everything. Outside of family, it’s the constant. You can be vulnerable and honest and especially when you’re not married — and even if you are — the support system of your friends to talk you down or up is vital. You need that on a personal and professional level. I don’t have a million friends who act, but I get so excited for all of them.
Hall doing an impression of The Weeknd on ‘Lip Sync Battle‘ (Youtube/Comedy Central)
Q: At one point in the movie, old wounds reopen and an argument threatens to end their friendship.
A: I was really conscious about not wanting to curse at them. I wanted that scene of four black women fighting not to feel like a reality show. I wanted there to be real hurt and disappointment over past grievances. But I wanted it to represent that there is a line that we have with each other that we respect and don’t cross, even when we feel hurt.
Q: At the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network awards in 2015, your dating jokes drew a lot of laughs.
A: Everyone’s take on humour is so different, I know mine is a little subtle sometimes. There’s comedy in life. I think it’s just that commonality of what it is to be alive that I always try to think about, and so I’m assuming that’s what connects people with me.
Q: Have you ever done stand-up?
As Brenda Meeks in ‘Scary Movie’ (Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock)
A: No, the closest I came was hosting stuff. It’s a totally different grind. Maybe one day I’ll do an impromptu thing if I can test the audience first. Maybe where everyone is drunk so it will just be funny anyway.
Q: When you went up against Lupita Nyong’o on Lip Sync Battle, you did a convincing imitation of the Weeknd, right down to the hair. It was a good battle, even though Nyong’o won.
A: Listen, Lupita Nyong’o came out, and she brought it. I was impressed — it was a fair loss but a loss no less. We were both trying to figure out what the other was doing, and we couldn’t. She thought I was doing Rihanna, and I thought she was doing Billie Holiday. (Nyong’o performed “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias.) I think I deserve a rematch. I don’t know, Lupita might be scared.
Q: You and Tracee Ellis Ross, known as T-Murda for her hip-hop alter ego, rapped along to Drake and Future’s “Jumpman,” which was posted online. Did you get any feedback from them on your skills?
A: No, I didn’t. I haven’t met Drake or Future. I don’t know how well we did, but I think they should be proud. I mean, I know Tracee brought it.
Q: Next you could do “Bad and Boujee,” by Migos.
A: Bad and boujee, those are the only two words I know.
Q: Well then you have some work to do. What would your rap name be?
A: I’d be R-Real-O.
‘Girls Trip’ is on nationwide release on 26 July
© 2017 New York Times News Service