For fans excited about the return of the beloved Best Man clique to the big screen, don’t worry. Actor Taye Diggs shares your jubilance. The 42-year-old cast member of The Best Man Holiday, which hits theaters today, tells VIBE that coming back as the lovable Harper Stewart has been a more than enjoyable experience.
“It feels good; these are all really great people, amazing actors as you all know,” Diggs explains, glowingly praising his co-stars Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Monica Calhoun, Terrence Howard, Melissa De Sousa, and Regina Hall. “But we had such a good time outside of work on the first movie. I remember it more almost as a social event more so than a film because it was just like a party everyday. It was a lot of fun. So it was just great to see all these faces again in this capacity.”
When we last left Harper and the gang from the hit 1999 romantic comedy, the crew was getting through the hilarious and at times dramatic aftermath of his book, "Unfinished Business." The unofficial autobiography offered scandalous details of Harper’s college years with his close-knit friends complete with tales of cheating. The fallout? Friendships were destroyed and a wedding between Harper’s best friend Lance (Chestnut) and Mia (Calhoun) was nearly derailed. Flash forward 15 years later and the friends, some married and expecting children, have come back together for the Christmas holidays to discover they now have a more serious set of issues to deal with.
Diggs says the evolution of Harper and his co-stars’ characters were made believable by the sharp direction and writing of Malcolm D. Lee. “As far as [my] character is concerned, I just think that Malcolm did a really great job at taking into account that a certain amount of time has passed,” he explains. “So it’s been really great delving into Harper where he is now in life. Just as an actor, that’s been fun.”
But there is still the question of what took so long. Indeed, The Best Man sequel has been in the making for years. Which is why Diggs admits that he was surprised when the movie was officially put into production. “In all honesty, it seemed a little bit too good to be true,” he says of the prospect of a return. “So I told myself not to get too excited because movies—the idea—comes and goes. Funding drops. Unfortunately, films such as this, whether you want to call it a black film or African-American, the industry is a little more harder on movies such as this.”
Diggs credits the success of the $100 million-grossing Think Like A Man with getting The Best Man Holiday turned around. “I think when Think Like A Man came out and did really well…the industry took its cue from that. I think literally the week after [Think Like A Man] came out, I think I was offered the movie a week after. I am positive if that movie didn’t do as well as it did, a slew of black movies would not have gotten green lit. [The Best Man Holiday] was a part of that. I’m thankful.”—Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)