This weekend’s blockbuster success was none other than Girls Trip, a raunchy R-rated comedy that follows four friends on a non-stop trip to the Essence Festival in New Orleans. While most of the cast (Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Regina Hall) are already Hollywood favorites, it’s the movie’s breakout star, Tiffany Haddish, who is having her moment in the spotlight. And for good reason: As the shameless, saucy Dina, the group’s most adventurous member, Haddish takes Girls Trip to a whole new level of hilarity. Here's why she’s the talk of the town.
1. This Is Her First Major Role—And She Killed It.
The Los Angeles-born actress has been working toward this moment for more than a decade, having landed supporting roles on TV shows including The Real Husbands of Hollywood and The Carmichael Show. She caught the attention of mainstream comedian Kevin Hart when she appeared alongside Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele in Keanu (2016). Girls Trip is her first major film, giving her the biggest opportunity to shine yet—but you'd never peg her as a newcomer from her performance. And there's more Haddish is on the way. Be sure to catch her first-ever standup special, She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood on August 18 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.
2. Her backstory is inspiring.
Haddish has had an unconventional path to stardom, led to the stage by a series of tragedies that took place during her young life. When she was 9, her mother suffered brain damage and subsequent mental illness as a result of a car accident, leaving Haddish the sole caretaker of her four younger siblings. “I was like a full-on mom, right away,” she told the podcast The Breakfast Club in a recent episode. “I remember the doctor pulled me aside and said, ‘She’s never going to be the person that she was, and it’s time for you to grow up now.’” Haddish and her siblings spent several years in the foster care system, and at 15, a social worker gave her a choice between going to psychiatric therapy or the Laugh Factor Comedy Camp. She chose camp—where she discovered her talent while working with comedians like Dane Cook, Richard Pryor, and Charles Fleischer.
3. She’s a Groupon pro.
During last week’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Haddish told an outrageous story about taking Will Smith and co-star Jada Pinkett-Smith on a Louisiana swamp-boat tour. She booked the experience through Groupon, which the megastar couple had never heard of.
4. That grapefruit scene.
If you haven’t heard of "grapefruiting," you’re probably not alone, but it is evidently a real sex technique according to sexpert Auntie Angel. Haddish demonstrates this controversial act of love in Girls Trip, in what she calls an "educational scene," simulating oral sex using a banana and – you guessed it – a grapefruit. Entertainment Weekly sat down with the cast to dish out all the dirty details in this video.
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5. Her refreshing personality.
Haddish has undeniable star power on screen and in real life, but it’s the fact that she’s overcome so much and worked hard for her dreams that makes her so relatable. If Girls Trip is just the beginning of what she’s capable of doing in the mainstream, we can’t wait to see what Haddish does next.