Director Encouraged Comics in Barbershop 3 Cast to Veer Off the Script
Out of chaos comes comedy — and a lot of film to edit. Malcolm D. Lee, director of “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” let his larger-than-life comic actors veer off the script and riff to their improvisational comedy heart’s content.
“You have start out with with a great script and then you let these guys run hog wild, especially the comedic actors,” Lee tells Made in Hollywood’s Patrick Stinson. “You have to let the people feel fresh in the moment.”
So when working with the likes of Cedric the Entertainer or J.B. Smoove in the third installment of the franchise, Lee knows that the “comedian’s job is to find the funny, always” — to let the “Barbershop 3” cast do their job.
“They’re always feeling the room and what’s going to work and what won’t work,” he says. “So when something inspires them, especially if they’re in character, it can be a great result. Sometimes it results in a four-page page scene turning into a 10-page scene.”
Improvisation by Barbershop 3 Cast Provided Extra Options in Editing Room
Which is fine with the director. “What you want (is) to have a lot of choices in the editing room,” Lee says, “and they gave me plenty of that.”
In this ensemble film set in a South Chicago barbershop run by Ice Cube, Lee continues the tradition of balancing these comic scenes with serious issues.
“I feel like it’s a reflection of life,” says Lee. “Life is not one way. Life is comedic at times, life is tragic at times, emotional and dramatic. I like to try to make those balances in a slice-of-life movie.”
He adds: “We knew that we wanted to make a funny move, because it’s a comedy and people expect laugh and be entertained. At the same time, in 2016, you can’t set a movie in the South Side of Chicago without talking about gang violence and gun violence.”
Watch the full interview with Malcolm Lee talking about the Barbershop 3 cast below: