ABOVE PHOTO: Stars Deon Cole and Ice Cube promote Barbershop: The Next Cut the third installment in the Barbershop franchise. (Photo: Leona Dixon)
By Kharisma McIlwaine
After twelve years, Calvin and the gang are back with Barbershop: The Next Cut, the third installment in the Barbershop franchise. Ice Cube and Deon Cole visited Philly to give the scoop on the inspiration behind the film and storyline.
Ice Cube has worked in every facet of the entertainment industry imaginable sustaining an extremely successful career as a rapper, writer, producer, director, and actor. Cube, who sits in the producer and actor seat for this film, shared his gratitude for the opportunity to bring beloved characters back to the big screen.
“It feels great that people want it back. It feels good that people came back. It feels good that we have a hell of a movie and that Malcolm Lee directed it. He’s brilliant at making you laugh but still making the movie feel extremely real.”
Cube is no stranger to the magic of successful sequels, and was vocal about keeping the integrity of this franchise intact.
“They (Warner Brothers/New Line Cinema) contacted me like what do you think about doing a third one? I said, ‘Why should we do a third one? What are we going to talk about besides who’s in the news? What is the movie going to be about?’ Fast-forward, I saw an article about this dude that had a barbershop. There were bad things going on in the neighborhood and he said I’m going to just give free cuts; hopefully it’ll squash some of that stuff. I started thinking, Calvin has a 14-year-old son who he’s trying to keep out of trouble. So, the story came to me in one night like this is what we should do.”
Deon Cole, best known for his stand up comedy and roles in Black-’ish, stars along side Cube as Dante, the customer who never wants to go home. Cole shared Cube’s enthusiasm and beamed about his first major film role.
“Having cameos in the first and second film I knew the feel of it. Being from Chicago I know how proud it made us when the movie came out. So for it to come full circle and have me play my character again in a bigger role was surreal,” said Cole.
The film offers its fair share of laughter due to a stand out cast, a solid script and freedom for the comedic actors to do what they do best. Cube described the freedom they were given on set.
“We started out with great material, on the page it’s laugh out loud funny. But you don’t really get what Deon Cole or JB Smoove has to offer unless you let them add the mortar between the bricks. He (Deon) had to feel like whatever flies out of his mouth is ok. Then we can go on this one, stick more to the script on this one,” said Cube.
“We felt like, let’s not go for the cheap seats of comedy! I don’t want a movie that’s trying to hard to make you laugh. I feel like our stories are so strong you don’t have to laugh off of every line. There’s still story, were still rolling, you’ll laugh at the next line,” continued Cube.
Although there are moments in this film that induce gut busting laughter, the heart of the story shines through. Barbershop candidly tackles the gang violence that has plagued Chicago for quite some time. Cole shared his thoughts on the film’s approach to this topic through comedy.
“In Chicago they gentrified the whole downtown area and tore down all the projects, not knowing that they were tearing down multi-million dollar drug spots. Then they moved these gang members into other gang neighborhoods. That’s why we have what’s going on”
“It was important for this film to happen. A lot of people don’t understand, there are always going to be problems but what we can do is start the discussion and that’s what I think this movie does,” said Cole.
Barbershop: The Next Cut perfectly balances the importance of family and friendship, with love, fun, laughter, dilemmas and a hefty dosage of truth. Ice Cube with the following declaration, “Our movie at the end of the day makes you feel good about yourself and optimistic that something can be done.” Barbershop: The Next Cut is in theaters nationwide on April 15th.