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The leading ladies of Barbershop: The Next Cut are each bringing something different to the film and veteran actress Regina Hall is sure to play a huge role in making it one to remember.

An NYU graduate with a successful acting career spanning over 20 years, Regina has solidified herself as one of the funniest women in Hollywood and one of our favorite faces on screen. We recently caught up with the Barbershop beauty to get her thoughts on her character in the film, Black women in Hollywood, what’s on her Hip Hop playlist and much more.

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In what ways do wish you were more like your character or that she was more like you in Barbershop: The Next Cut?
Well, we both are like each other in that we both love what we do. I like her entrepreneurial spirit, which I’m trying to have more of in my life. I also kind of like she’s very conscious of getting involved to take a stand for something she believes in, which I think is important. I know I’ve felt like there’s more that I can do even in my own life, especially recently. Let’s see, what else…she’s actually very calm and agreeable and I could definitely use a little more of that [laughs]. But then she did kick [Deon Cole’s character Dante], so I don’t know. She can get a little bit crazy too.

There’s always been a lot of conversation around the lack of roles for Black women in Hollywood but you’ve been one who we consistently see on screen in spite of that. What’s been your secret to staying afloat and being able to build such a diverse career portfolio?
Thank you. I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had and still have a great team. I also think doing both comedy and drama helps. You know, being able to go back and forth has led to continuous work and just being fortunate enough to have been in movies that have been very successful. Then, with roles outside of that, I’ve kind of avoided type casting. So, it’s been a combination of all of that and you know, just a lot of God….and luck.

How has the climate changed for Black women in film over the years from your observation? What would you like to see done next?
You know, there’s always work to be done. Where we are in the film industry is just a reflection of what still needs to be done in terms of equality for women in real life. Black or white, women have always had to strive for equality and we still do, in terms of roles. You know, not just playing the role of the wife or whatever. I think having a lot of immensely brilliant and talented people, male and female, behind the scenes recently has helped with [showcasing women in different roles.] You see Shonda Rhimes, you see Kenya Barris with Black-ish and as we continue to see the people behind the lens and the writers changes, we’ll start to see more roles.

I also think our minds are expanding, not because they weren’t already expanded in the first place, but because I think networks are beginning to realize that they don’t have to be “afraid” of certain things now. They’re able to write characters that are people who perhaps aren’t built the way people would expect them to be or think they would be.  That’s why I’m excited to see women like Kerry Washington do Confirmation and Viola Davis in How To Get Away With Murder. I just think that the diversification behind the lens has a lot to do with that.

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Talk a little about working with such big names in Hip Hop as actors for Barbershop 3: The Next Cut.
Oh, it was great. Nicki [Minaj] was great, I’ve worked with Eve before. Common, I’d never worked with before but, he was great. [Ice] Cube, I’ve worked with before and he was great again. It’s been great to see his success as both an actor and an artist. They all are lovely. I mean, I have asked why am I not in a song yet, though. You know, I’m like “all these bars and I can’t drop one word….maybe two?!” [laughs] But, yeah, it’s just always wonderful to see people with a lot of talent do great work and expand what they do as artists.

What Hip Hop are you listening to these days?
I listen to everything. I mean everything; I love all kinds of music. I do love Kendrick Lamar but I also love Rich Homie Quan. I love ratchet Hip Hop too. I just love it all. I love Nicki, obviously…I always have loved Eve. Common is great…you know, everything is kind of expanding.  Not just in film and television but, in music also. So, it’s just great that there are so many different voices. I love that Usher [“Back To Sleep”] remix…I’m about to get me some pineapples [laughs].

I don’t know, it sounds like we might hear Regina Hall on the Barbershop: The Next Cut soundtrack?
I think I’m gonna have to do it. I might have to do a verse…somebody’s gonna have to put me on a verse. Y’all might have to put me in The Source Hip Hop Quotables! [laughs]

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Why should fans who are new to the Barbershop franchise go check out Barbershop: The Next Cut?
Honestly this Barbershop will have a lot of things that people don’t expect, but still everything that they do expect. They’ll get all the laughter and jokes and everything that they liked about the first one, but it has something extra and special that you can take home with you. It has a great cast and a great message.