AUSTIN, Texas—It all started at the New York Critics Circle awards in January. Accepting the prize for Best Screenplay on behalf of Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread co-star Lesley Manville read from a letter he had written to Tiffany Haddish.
“I know everyone wants to work with you now, but please, may I cut to the front of the line?” Anderson asked Haddish.
Cut to two months later and Haddish is stealing the Oscars ceremony from host Jimmy Kimmel by presenting two awards with Anderson’s partner, comedian Maya Rudolph. It was indisputably the highlight of the otherwise boring night.
During a joint interview with Tracy Morgan for their upcoming TBS series The Last O.G., Haddish tells The Daily Beast that even though she and Rudolph seemed like old friends on stage, they met just two days before the Oscars. “We clicked just like that,” she says. “And people have been telling me for years, you should meet Maya, you guys would get along.”
“She’s good,” added Morgan, who overlapped with Rudolph for four seasons on Saturday Night Live. “We did some really touching sketches together.”
Now, Haddish says she and Rudolph talk on the phone “all the time.”
The idea of Haddish and Rudolph co-starring in a film actually came up before the Oscars during an interview Anderson gave to the Los Angeles Times. Anderson was talking about how Haddish reminded him of Adam Sandler, another comedian that he put in a more serious role, when reporter Glenn Whipp suggested, “She and Maya would make a terrific pair.”
“Absolutely! That’s a combustible combination, the two of them,” Anderson replied. “That’s what you dream of as a director.”
“That’s something that I would like,” Haddish says of the potential on-screen pairing with Rudolph. “You know, she’s already the star of his life. Now, if I could just be a little co-star, that would be super awesome. I would be really happy with that.”
Haddish tells me that they have all been talking, sending ideas back and forth. “We’re going to figure something out,” she says.
In the meantime, Haddish and Morgan are working with newly crowned Oscar-winner Jordan Peele, who co-created and is executive producing The Last O.G.
“That’s my dude. That’s my people right there,” Morgan says. “When he won, we all won. He’s such an inspiration to all of us. You’ve got to understand—Get Out, he was writing that for eight years and everybody and their moms was turning him away. Now you’re getting an Oscar, brother!”
Haddish, who got an early break with a supporting role in Peele and Keegan-Michael Key’s Keanu, says she is “so proud” of his screenplay win. She remembers Peele showing her the Get Out script when they were working on that film and asking her if she was interested in being in it.
“I was like, ‘Naw, I don’t do scary movies, man,’” she says. But Haddish insists she has no regrets, because “exactly who was supposed to be in it was in it and it was amazing.”
Stay tuned for our longer conversation with Haddish and Morgan about The Last O.G. coming soon.