Last summer, Regina Hall’s Girls Trip was the highlight of the summer. This summer, she has another Girls movie. Support the Girls is just as empowering but a little more indie.
Hall plays Lisa, the manager of Double Whammies, a sports bar where the girls show their midriffs and lots of legs, but Lisa does not tolerate the slightest bit of sexual harassment. She will kick any customer out who mouths off.
We’ll be seeing a lot more of Hall too. She’s got The Hate U Give this fall, a drama about the police shooting of a black teen. She’ll be in the next Shaft movie which combines three generations of John Shafts, and the inevitable Girls Trip 2.
Support the Girls is out Friday, August 24 and Hall spoke with Monsters and Critics about this and her upcoming films.
Monsters and Critics: First of all, I loved your cameo in Vacation and ever since I always click like on any of my friends’ posts. So you taught me well.
Regina Hall: [Laughs] Thank you. Yeah, she had a real problem with that if you didn’t click like. That was a fun job.
M&C: With regards to Support the Girls, can we have a zero tolerance policy towards harassment in every workplace?
RH: Oh, my goodness. The bigger joy will be that it won’t be needed. That’s the bigger goal. Maybe that should be the goal, a zero tolerance policy in every place.
I know in a place like Double Whammies, you know it’s definitely going to come up. I love that she felt confident, Lisa always felt confident and bold enough to make sure.
M&C: How about on Twitter? That would be a good place for zero tolerance.
RH: Oh boy, that’d be a great place for zero tolerance. Maybe just for a lot more love.
M&C: Right, isn’t that the big issue? We’re debating how much tolerance for that behavior should be allowed. Why is it up for debate? Just don’t do it at all.
RH: I think if we just start seeing people more as extensions of ourselves then the self love will create more love of others and maybe we wouldn’t have to do it.
It would be great if we didn’t even need to demand it, that we innately uplifted and were just kind to each other. Kind words, kind thoughts.
M&C: That’s true. They say hurt people hurt people.
RH: Hurt people hurt people. I believe that.
M&C: Did you film Support the Girls even before #MeToo really took off?
RH: Totally. It was before the whole thing with Harvey Weinstein. The timing of it was a little surprising. It was, for me, a little scary at first because I was like, “Uh-oh, what is this going to mean for us?”
M&C: I was wondering if you spent the last year thinking, “I have a movie coming out that’s going to be a rallying cry.”
RH: I think by the time we were already going to festivals, the #MeToo movement had started. I was more conscious of hoping people would perceive the film well because of the setting because it was in a place like Double Whammies.
I was just hoping people’s preconceived notions didn’t affect how they received the movie and the characters in the movie, the essence and what this story was about. There’s a lot of girl power in it, a lot of sisterhood.
M&C: Now that it’s making the rounds, do you feel people are getting it?
RH: I do. I feel like that I feel like people are really pleasantly surprised and really responding to the story and the girls and the world.
M&C: It’s not salacious or hyping up the skimpy uniforms or anything.
RH: No, no, and that’s what the girls wear. Obviously, Lisa doesn’t wear that but yeah, they don’t. It’s not like an extreme gratuitous kind of outfit, especially in comparison to what people are wearing nowadays. It’s almost quite normal.
M&C: Isn’t Double Whammies conservative even compared to restaurants like Hooters?
RH: Well, you know, in Hooters they do wear hose. They wear panty hose. It’s the same idea except it’s not denim.
I think all of it is just a comment about pretty girls being a little fun, a little flirty but after spending a lot of time in them because of the movie, before and during, I certainly got a much, much larger appreciation. I love the food, love the service, loved the girls so it totally changed my mind.
Loved that I could go and be like, “I know where I can go and watch a boxing match.” Double Whammies didn’t have the best boxing matches though. I was looking at the fight we were playing in Double Whammies. I was like we’re definitely not high end over here. We’re no Twin Peaks. It was a lot of fun to go do research.
M&C: What restaurants did you go to?
RH: I went to Hooters, a couple of different Hooters. One in South Carolina, two in L.A. and I went to some Twin Peaks in Austin and they have a Bikinis in Austin.
M&C: How many takes of the scream did you do?
RH: A lot but it was our last day and our last scene. So nobody had to worry about having no voice the next day or talking afterwards. So we just screamed because we did it from the back, we did it from the front and we did it from the side. It was really fun. It was kind of cathartic. It was kind of emotional when we did the scream.
M&C: How long did it blow your voice out for?
RH: A couple days. It would’ve been no time but our wrap party was the next night so I think adding tequila to some already strained vocal chords wasn’t ideal.
M&C: You have The Hate U Give coming out later. I still have friends who don’t believe police are being too aggressive. Can dramatizing these stories reach those people who are unconvinced even after all the reports?
RH: I don’t know. Sometimes people who are convinced, their minds can’t be changed. I think all we can do is show stories, make them aware and then for those that may not be aware and they aren’t convinced, that will help create more voices.
Hopefully the chorus, multitude of voices will create change because a lot of times what you don’t experience you think isn’t real. That’s just not the case unfortunately. Where we can make decisions that can emotionally affect people that hopefully can create change.
Listen, that’s certainly not to say that there aren’t some great officers. I have a cousin who’s a police officer and he’s a great officer. There are some really great ones but I think it’s the lens through which we view things has to expand.
M&C: Has there been any talk of a Girls Trip 2?
RH: Yeah, we’re definitely talking about it. We’re talking about it and trying to see if we can make it happen and get all the elements together, and make it as delightful for people as the first one. We’ve got to find a new fruit for Dina though. What fruit are we going to exploit in Girls Trip 2?
M&C: Do you have ideas where you’d like them to go for the second Girls Trip?
RH: I’ve been really thinking about that and I don’t know. Someone just said to me, “Go to Carnival in Trinidad.” We’ve had numerous ideas thrown at us but I don’t know. Some people have been like, “What about Brazil?” We’ve got to go where some girls would go and see what happens. So I’m excited to see where we end up.
M&C: Do you get to play a kickass role in Shaft?
RH: No, she’s not a kickass role. But you know what? She’s got a kickass mouth and she does get to curse out Shaft. When you get to call Sam Jackson an MF, you know that you’ve gotta be a bad momma.
You know the woman you love, the men are always a little more vulnerable. He chooses to be kind to her. It’s a choice that he always makes and it was fun. I had so much fun shooting it.
I’m a huge fan of Samuel L. Jackson so it was such a dream to work with him. He’s so funny in this. He’s badass, I’ll tell you that much.