Movies, TV, commercials, hosting gigs – Tiffany Haddish is everywhere, and she’s here to stay. The unfiltered and often unabashed Haddish is one of Hollywood’s most buzzed about stars, and deservedly so. Time named her one of 2018’s most influential people in the world and the Academy invited her to become a voting member.
Haddish captivated viewers last summer with her role in Girls Trip, and she’s back in Uncle Drew on June 29, but don’t call her a newcomer. The comedy queen fought tooth and nail to get to where she is today. Her personality is like no other, but her rigorous journey to stardom really stands out from most other actor histories. Here’s how she climbed the ladder to reach her current level of success.
The 38-year-old Haddish was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her childhood was anything but easy. When she was young, Haddish’s father left and her mother remarried before having four more children. After her mother suffered severe brain damage caused by an accident, Haddish became the primary caregiver for her siblings. Then at the age of 12, she and her siblings were put into foster care and spent years separated from one another. It wasn’t until she was in her mid-teens that her grandmother gained custody and reunited the family. During those pivotal years, Haddish explored comedy and acting, which would go on to change the course of her life forever.
Haddish learned to use comedy as a way to cope with her struggles. When she got older, a social worker gave her an ultimatum that resulted in Haddish attending the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp. As she began to hone her craft, she encountered a number of iconic comedians who became her mentors. Haddish learned to use comedy as an outlet for the pain she carried. It was a coping mechanism that grew into a passion she eventually pursued full-time.
Throughout her twenties, Haddish was often homeless, living out of her car, but that didn’t deter her. She kept at it, made the right connections, and started appearing in comedy competitions. After a few guest appearances on popular TV shows, she starred in a soap series, If Loving You Is Wrong. After one season, Haddish left to join the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show. She was featured on that series, as Nekeisha, the wife of the main character’s brother Bobby, for three seasons. Haddish’s career took off after she appeared in the 2016 comedy Keanu, which co-starred Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key.
A New Level Of Fame
Last year, Haddish played Dina in Girls Trip. It’s one of the best movies of 2017, and put Haddish on the map for a wider audience. Her scene-stealing ability and impeccable delivery own the film, which is quite a feat considering she shared the screen with Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Queen Latifah. Her role even garnered some Oscar buzz but positive praise didn’t go to her head. Haddish is more determined than ever.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she spoke about her wild ambitions:
“I want to make a cookbook. I wanna make a gardening book. I want a clothing line. I want a jewelry line. I want a perfume. And then I want to buy two streets that intersect, Tiffany and Haddish, and I’m gonna build a big youth center, a mental health center, I might do some transitional housing, too. But I’m gonna own it. And I’m gonna have music and all the other stuff they’re taking out of schools. Right now, my mind’s on one street, but it might be in every city, every metropolis, and it might turn into a big thing. It’s gonna be amazing.”
OK, so what’s really next for Haddish? She reunited with Carmichael Show co-star Lil Rel Howery for the sports comedy Uncle Drew. The Pepsi commercial-turned-feature film follows Dax (Howery) as he tries to win a streetball tournament. He just needs a team. So Dax seeks out the legendary Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving), and the two travel to recruit other old ballers, played by Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie. Haddish plays the feisty Jess.
After Uncle Drew, Haddish will appear in three more 2018 movies. There’s Night School, with fellow comedian and friend Kevin Hart. After her standout and successful hosting performance at the MTV Movie and TV Awards, Haddish will get back to work on filming her hit show The Last OG, with Tracy Morgan. Haddish is also trying her hand at a crime drama, The Kitchen, alongside Melissa McCarthy and Elisabeth Moss. She will also be heard on Netflix as she voices the main character in the animated adult series Tuca & Bertie.
The sky’s the limit for Haddish and watch out world, her determination runs deep.
Uncle Drew hits theaters June 29, 2018.