Tiffany Haddish is showing off her serious side. Haddish spoke with ET’s Matt Cohen about letting the world see that side of her in her new movie, The Card Counter. In the film, the comedienne plays La Linda, the love interest of card counter William Tell, played by Oscar Isaac.
“She is basically a wrangler of poker players. I tell myself she a pimp. But she not a pimp-pimp. But in my mind, she’s kind of a pimp of poker players,” Haddish explained. “She’s very savvy about how she does business, very charming. But she’s trying to figure out who this guy is, like, what’s his thing? And she’s also attracted to the mystery of it all.”
The savvy “poker wrangler” is also a bit of a fashionista too, but figuring out her “look” was something Haddish revealed she and the film’s director, Paul Schrader, went back and forth on.
“We had some different takes on what she should wear. We ended up going with what the director wanted ’cause it’s his thing. But I wanted her to wear all designer stuff and he was like, ‘No, she’s the type that has designer accessories, but you know how you shop on a budget? The outfit looking real nice, but it’s only $15. But the shoes and the jewelry and all the accessories and the hair and everything might be a thousand,'” she explained.
Haddish had to spend time in casinos preparing for the role, but in her personal life, she is a very cautious gambler.
“I learned that it’s a lot of messed-up people in the casino. I think that’s where hopes and dreams go to die. That’s what it felt like anyways,” she said of her experience. “We were in those casinos and I was learning a lot about poker. I’m a blackjack player myself, and I never play more than $20. Once I lose that $20, I am done.”
While the funny woman had to channel her more serious side to bring out the drama the film delivers, she’s anything but that when it comes to her relationship with rapper Common. Haddish told ET that even when they argue, their disagreements are filled with laughter.
“We don’t really argue. When we argue, it’s kind of hilarious, I think. Like we laugh a lot. In our disagreements, there’s a lot of laughter. But he hears me though. Like some guys would be like, ‘Oh, she’s just joking.’ But I’m serious. But I might sugarcoat things. I put a little syrup with a little seasoning on it. I’m blunt, but it’s with a little seasoning. So if I don’t like something, I’ll make it very clear that I don’t like it, but I do it in a way that’s not, like, offensive or, like, I’m not trying to hurt his feelings. I care about his feelings,” Haddish shared.
While there’s always an underlying comedic edge to Haddish, the actress explained that she’s tried to create a safe place in their relationship so that Common can express himself to her as easily as she does to him.
“I think men are more sensitive than women. You guys feel a lot more, but you’re not allowed to express it. So I try to make a safe place where you can express yourself and not try to hurt. I might throw a jab in here and there. I might…a little smack. I mean, not physically, but my words might get you, but it’s just to bring you back to reality,” she said. “You way up here and everybody’s on the ground floor. So, like, let’s operate right here for just a moment and then you can fly back up if you want to.”
The Card Counter hits theaters Sept. 10.
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