After more than two decades in the entertainment industry, Tyler Perry is switching things up once again. Just seven months after the debut of his first R-rated psychological thriller, Acrimony, Perry is premiering his first R-rated comedy, Nobody’s Fool. Shot in just ten days, the romantic comedy with a twist brings together The Haves and the Have Nots darling Tika Sumpter along with Emmy winner, Tiffany Haddish. Perry was well aware of Haddish’s talent before her breakout role in Girls Trip, the director and actress worked together back in 2014 on Perry’s OWN series If Loving You Is Wrong. In Nobody’s Fool, he paired Haddish and Sumpter up as sisters, Tanya and Danika respectively. In the movie, the sisters are reunited after the hilarious but hot-headed Tanya is released from prison after a five-year stint.
Tanya’s re-entry into Danika’s life upends the straight-laced advertising executive’s picture perfect world including her online relationship with a man that Tanya is confident is “catfishing” her sister. Perry didn’t just stop with Haddish and Sumpter — he rounded out his raunchy and entertaining rom-com with Power star Omari Hardwick as Frank, Tanya’s boss who is desperately interested in Danika, E.G.O.T. legend Whoppi Goldberg as the Tanya and Danika’s mom, Lola and the mega-talented Amber Riley as Danika’s bestie, Callie.
Ahead of the film’s premiere Shadow and Act got the opportunity to sit down with Tyler Perry and the cast to chat about Nobody’s Fool and how much fun they had while making it.
The Diary of a Mad Black Woman director wrote Nobody’s Fool’s specifically for Haddish, and as a result, the dialogue came easy. He revealed, “If I was writing for Madea 30 years ago, and she could be Rated-R and say whatever she wanted to that’s exactly what it would be.”
Though Haddish obviously added her own flavor to the role of Tanya, stepping into her character’s shoes, a woman who is fiercely protective of her sister, was no hardship for The Secret Life of Pets 2 actress. “[Tyler] had already written it in my voice for the most part,” she explained. “So that’s what made it so easy, and then for me to be able to put the Haddish seasoning on it — it was amazing.”
Throughout Nobody’s Fool, Sumpter’s character Danika refers to a long list of qualities she thinks her “ideal” man must have. We asked, Sumpter and Hardwick if they’d ever had these type of lists at any point during their lives. “There was kind and loving,” the Southside With You actress explained. “But some of it was just writing my signature as if I was somebody’s wife already! I’m not going to even embarrass myself and say who because it’s ridiculous, but I had all of these physical concepts of what I thought it would be and I’ve actually seen people marry someone like that, and I’ve been like, ‘Oh, I’m glad that I dodged that bullet.'”
For Hardwick who plays Frank, a business owner, and recovering addict — there was never a list for an “ideal mate.” However, the Sorry To Bother You actor and former football player did seek out superficial physical attributes during his youth. “As an athlete, you are trained to make the play, so you don’t don’t really think of love any differently,” he revealed. “Making the play is different than love, it’s more like, ‘The way I can continue to stay in a particular position is marrying a certain type of girl.’ So it was an archetype or a prototype.”
Riley who plays Callie, Danika’s well-meaning best friend and co-worker, also had a list of traits for her perfect man when she was in junior high school. She chuckled, “It was something as simple as a car, where now its like, ‘No, I’m 32, that’s a given.’”
Of course, we had to ask Ms. Goldberg about that hilariously outrageous copper-colored wig she wore in the film. “I said, ‘I want it to look like a lot of the women we see out in the streets, but a little bit odder,'” Goldberg laughed. “So it kind of grows during the movie, it gets fluffier— it gets big, and if you’re high during the movie and you ask yourself, ‘Is that wig changing?’ That was intentional.”
Watch the interviews in their entirety below.
Nobody’s Fool debuts in theaters Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.
Aramide A. Tinubu is a film critic and entertainment writer. As a journalist, her work has been published in EBONY, JET, ESSENCE, Bustle, The Daily Mail, IndieWire and Blavity. She wrote her master’s thesis on Black Girlhood and Parental Loss in Contemporary Black American Cinema. She’s a cinephile, bookworm, blogger and NYU + Columbia University alum. You can find her reviews on Rotten Tomatoes or A Word with Aramide and you can tweet her @wordwitharamide