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Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish Talk Co-Starring in 'Here Today'

'First of all, I love Billy Crystal,' Haddish tells ET of their first meeting.

5/6/2021 6:15:00 PM

.BillyCrystal and TiffanyHaddish’s new dramedy, HereToday, begins with a scene so outlandish and so unbelievable that it could only be true.

'First of all, I love Billy Crystal ,' Haddish tells ET of their first meeting.

that he realized he needed her to play his onscreen other half, an aspiring New York singer."The movie needed her," Crystal says."When I saw her -- the charm, how funny she was, how fearless she was, her natural personality -- the movie was not set up then, and I said, 'We have to get this to her. This is for her,'" he recalls."And then when I read about her past, about performing at bat mitzvahs and bar mitzvahs and stuff-- We had written a scene where her character, Emma, sings a Janis Joplin song at a bar mitzvah, so to me, this was destiny. It was meant to be."

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Crystal sent the script to Haddish, who was in Africa at the time."First of all, I love Billy Crystal," she reveals of her reaction to him reaching out."Like this is--" she pantomimes her mind being blown. She read the screenplay and told her people to tell his people to get a meeting on the schedule as soon as possible.

"I get back and I take braids out, right? And they're like, 'Oh, he wants to meet on this day.' I'm like, 'What am I doing with my hair?!Oh my goodness. Do I press it? Do I put a wig on it?" Haddish remembers."I was just like, 'You know what? I'm walking in with an afro. No makeup. He's gonna just see me the way that I am. If he likes me, great. Fantastic. And if he don't, I got to meet Billy Crystal!" headtopics.com

As Crystal remembers it,"The charming, beautiful host that I had seen was so funny was even more interesting and charming and challenging in person. And I went, 'This is the character. She has got to do this.' And I even said to her, 'It's important that you do this,'" he shares."And I wasn't selling. I felt like I wanted to say that to her. 'This is a special movie for you.'"

Here Today is in theaters on May 7. Read more: Entertainment Tonight »

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