It would be hard for someone to exist in 2018 and not already know why Tiffany Haddish is such a superstar, but on the off-chance anyone out there has just emerged from a cave, The Hollywood Reporter just posted an interview with Haddish—conducted during a vodka-fueled flight from San Francisco to New York—that is a good introduction to what makes her so awesome. For starters, she has a lot of great stories, including one about an interaction she had with Roseanne Barr back in 2000 or 2001 that convinced Haddis that Barr was racist long before she ever got on Twitter.
Haddish says she had been visiting her friend in El Segundo, California—where Haddish says black people are pulled over so regularly that she knew the local cops by name—when she saw Roseanne Barr in the yard outside of her house. Haddish called out to her to say hello, prompting Barr to make a “disgusted” face and run into the house. The next time they saw Barr, Haddish had her friend (“she’s Hispanic, but she looks white”) say hello instead, and Roseanne gave her a friendly response. A week later, Haddish tried again, shouting to Barr “I love your comedy” and she got the same disgusted face” and looked away. “She been racist,” Haddish notes, “why’d you all give her a TV show?”
Other celebrity stories involve an attempt to take Taylor Swift to her high school reunion and the time she met Leonardo DiCaprio and asked him if he’d sleep with her. It sounds like he was flattered by her offer but taken aback by the bluntness of it, particularly because she specifically said she only wanted to have sex with him if he pretended to be his character from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. She says she told him, “That performance deserves a real reward.”
Haddish also touches on how she got into comedy in the interview, including how her mother suffered a brain injury in a car accident when Haddish was a kid, and when she got out of the hospital she had become prone to anger and abuse. Haddish realized she could calm her mom down by making her laugh, “and then she’d remember why she was mad later and come back and whoop my ass.” She met Richard Pryor at a comedy camp as a kid and was able to pursue it as a career many years later (thanks to a $300 loan from Kevin Hart, who jokingly claims that he never got paid back even though Haddish maintains that she has repeatedly tried to give Hart his money).