Regina Hall returns with the rest of the cast of "The Best Man" in the long-in-the-works sequel, "The Best Man Holiday," which opens November 15. She's back as Candace, the former stripper who now helps run a respectable school, that is, until an unsavory video from her past surfaces on YouTube, much to her husband's (Harold Perrineau) horror. As they gather with old friends at Christmas, that one secret threatens to undermine their complicated relationships.
Hall sat down with Moviefone to talk about what it was like to revisit the character and how reuniting with the cast was "like a big slumber party." Her loyal bulldog, Zeus, sat in on the interview, despite her best efforts to put him in the next room.
WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead!
Moviefone: How did making the first movie change your life?
Regina Hall: It was my very first movie. I met Sanaa Lathan on it, and we did "Love and Basketball" together, which was my second film. And then, at that point, I was visiting L.A. to stay and it led to a third film and a fourth film. And it was really a big deal because I'd never been on a set before.
A lot has changed in 14 years.
A lot has changed. Some people are parents now. Careers are different. Everything's different. But it felt just like it did 15 years ago.
And the characters have changed.
Definitely. In the first movie, I felt like they were young adults, and now I feel like they were adults facing the reality of what life is. Beyond the "happily ever after." They had real-life issues that happen, like when life happens to you.
You've worked on other movies that had sequels. How is this one different?
With the other ones, the sequels were a lot more immediate. There was "Scary Movie," it did well, so they were like, "Let's do another one." This one was different because I've never had a sequel that's been 15 years later. [Laughs] And it's really exciting to know that, 15 years later, an audience still wants to see those characters. And I think it's also the power of cable, because this one just plays and another generation discovers it.
What would you do if you had a scandalous video show up on YouTube?
Gosh. I wouldn't fight it. It might help me! [Laughs]
Oh, I see. You're going to leak something now!
By the way, I did something... [Laughs] It's embarrassing, especially for a woman who's married with kids. But nowadays, I feel like there's so much online, I don't even know what's considered bad anymore.
So you think it wouldn't be a big deal?
I don't know. It might depend on what leaked.
You and Melissa De Sousa [who plays Candace's husband's ex, Shelby] have an epic catfight. Did either of you actually get hurt doing that?
Melissa hurt her knee in the rehearsal. We decided we wanted to do it ourselves so it looks real. And I think I got a couple of things because she throws the bottle at my back, and the bottle has to have water in it in order to be weighted enough to throw. We still had so much fun, that was the crazy part. Shooting that was so much fun. I was like, "Grab my neck. Throw me down harder." So, yeah, she got a bad knee, I got a bad back. That's what 15 years will do.
What about the scene where the guys lip-synch a New Edition song for you?
Oh, yeah. I loved that. You always have women dancing for men in the movies and it's nice to have the guys do a sexy number for the girls.
Right! The girls can always do an "En Vogue" number next time.
Exactly. We were supposed to do "En Vogue" in this one and [writer/director] Malcolm [D. Lee], decided, "You know what? No."
Would you have been up for that, a little "Never Gonna Get It"?
I would have done it, completely. [Starts singing "Never Gonna Get It."]
So, which scene was more fun: fighting, or the men singing for you?
The fight scene. Just the adrenaline that it takes to rile yourself up. It was great, just raw emotion. It was interesting because, in the first movie, the guys have the big fight scene and in this one the girls fight and the men do the dancing. It was all reversed.
Do you think Candace and Shelby will ever really be friends?
I think Shelby had an arc where she evolved, and I think her apology was sincere. I think she realized it was time to move on. Not from Harold [Perrineau's character] but from winning. I think the idea that he left her, she had to surrender to that. I think she was envious of the happiness that Candace and Julian had.
It sounds like you had a lot of fun making it. Although it does have its sadder storyline.
Yeah, this one has a totally different tone. It does, but it doesn't. The first one has the joy of the wedding and in this one, they come together for the holidays, but it's deeper than that. This one's definitely different, but we still laughed. There was so much laughter behind the scenes.
Are you at all worried that audiences will expect a more lighthearted movie than what this ends up being?
I don't think that people won't like it. I think they'll just go, "Whoa, I didn't think that was going to happen."
They hint at a third movie at the end. Would you be game for another one?
With this cast? Of course, because it's like a big slumber party. We really do get to go away and have fun and be big kids again.
I asked Taye what his three tenets are. What are yours?
It would be God, family, friends. And Zeus would be a friend.
You also did the remake of "About Last Night."
We did. We already shot it. It comes out February 14. It's with Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, and Joy Bryant.
What's different about it besides the recast?
It's really different. It's a lot more like the play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" than it is the movie. It's a little closer to the play. We had fun shooting it.
"The Best Man Holiday" opens Friday, November 15.
Can't wait until Friday? Send a Morris Chestnut Best Man Holiday Gram now, or check out Q and Shelby's Relationship Tumblr.