Regina Hall was one of many firsts when it came to making the 1999 film The Best Man. It was her first film as well as writer-director Malcolm D. Lee. Her role as Candace, aka Candy, struck a chord with audiences and now she and the entire cast including Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Monica Calhoun, Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau and Sanaa Lathan have returned in The Best Man Holiday.
We caught up with Hall for an exclusive interview where she dishes getting back together again with her close friends, what she thinks it is about why these characters are still so resonant for fans 14 years later and how the story for this particular movie, could not be more spot on when it comes to life itself.
Movie Fanatic: Ever in a million years think you would be back playing this character?
Regina Hall: No! And you know what? From the moment I played her the first time, I wasn’t even sure what the whole thing was. And for that first movie to do as well as it did and to have a career 14 years later and be invited back, to know it was so well received and that people are so excited, it makes me so happy.
Movie Fanatic: From the moment we at Movie Fanatic put up that first The Best Man Holiday poster, it has been blowing up.
Regina Hall: We’ve had such an amazing reception. Everyone’s been so supportive.
Movie Fanatic: What do you think it is about all of you together that struck and is striking such a chord?
Regina Hall: I have to tell, I don’t even know. I wish I knew. You always want to make a good movie. But you don’t anticipate that a romantic comedy from 15 years ago is going to get a sequel. I know that genuinely together, we felt the first time we made it, there was such an organic chemistry and organic truth in Malcolm’s writing and I think the movie has matured the way life matures. And sometimes life is not so pretty and it’s like even when it works out… it doesn’t work out [laughs]. There’s a truth to it. I also think people recognize something of themselves in one or many of these characters.
Movie Fanatic: What did you notice in terms of any difference with the passage of 15 years with Malcolm or the cast of The Best Man Holiday?
Regina Hall: There’s a lightheartedness to Malcolm that has grown. He’s grown as a filmmaker since the first film. That was his first film and it was my first film. Also, the subject matter with The Best Man Holiday and what he chose to delve into is much deeper. There’s things in life where you realize your twenties where everything’s golden and you anticipate that it will all stay that way. Not that life goes bad, but life happens. You see that in his writing.
Movie Fanatic: Your partner in crime, sure it’s an ensemble, but your closest co-star is Harold Perrineau, how was he as a volley partner and how has that changed?
Regina Hall: Harold and I studied with the same woman and what is so great about that is we both didn’t know that when we booked the first movie. He’s a tremendous artist and a tremendous person and dancer. He’s just tremendous. To have an opportunity to work with someone that generous and who is that meticulous in his process, it makes you do the same thing. I found that I could say his work has evolved, but his work has always been amazing.
Movie Fanatic: When you all got together for that dinner that Malcolm had organized, was it like not a day had passed?
Regina Hall: Some of us had kept in touch, but really… no time had passed. It was like old friends getting together. And this entire journey has been such a blessing. We all read together. The studio loved it. It got green lit. It got shot and now I’m here talking to you, just amazing. It’s rare that you are part of such a journey.
Movie Fanatic: There are so many rich themes in The Best Man Holiday -- when you first read Malcolm’s script, what stuck out with you the most?
Regina Hall: So much. I saw the complexity and simplicity of all the characters. And there was so much that I had experienced and friends had experienced, it was all there on the page. After the “I dos” and the “happily ever after,” there’s the intrusion of life [laughs]. You’re like, “Wait a minute. I didn’t ask for this.”