Years before fans became fascinated with the real-life soap opera of Chris Brown’s emotional back-and-forth with exes Rihanna and Karrueche Tran… Prior to the weekly shenanigans of “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta” stars Joseline, Mimi and Stevie J becoming regular fodder for gossip sites… And well before audiences became obsessed with the fictional web woven between Olivia Pope, President Fitzgerald Grant and his scorned wife Mellie on “Scandal”… There was another love triangle that kept most of us glued to the edge of our seats: Harper, Jordan and Robin from director Malcolm D. Lee’s 1999 smash romantic comedy, “The Best Man.”
Harper (Taye Diggs) sizzled as a serial monogamist, torn between two women, and struggling to hide some thinly disguised secrets in his debut novel during the days leading up to his friend’s wedding. Jordan (Nia Long) was the college gal pal turned journalist who Harper had always wanted to get with. And Robin
(Sanaa Lathan) was Harper’s current flame, who he couldn’t help but compare to his successful, and single, crush. The relatable characters’ complicated dynamic made for some of the film’s sultriest and most soul-examining
moments. Alongside an impressive cast that included Terrence Howard, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Melissa De Sousa, Monica Calhoun and Regina Hall, the trio left fans enthralled. And a new Black Hollywood classic was born.
Opening at No. 1, “The Best Man” recouped its entire $9 million production budget during the first weekend and went on to generate $35 million in total. The breakout hit’s success paved the way for future African-American-helmed rom-coms, including last year’s $91 million blockbuster “Think Like a Man.” Now, 14 years later, the entire cast has reunited for “The Best Man Holiday.”
Despite the original film’s box-office coup, the long-awaited sequel making its way to the silver screen was no small feat. It took the hard-fought campaigning efforts of Lee and his dedicated performers to convince studio executives that this was a story that needed to be revisited. And ever since the script was green lit, African-American fans have been eagerly anticipating its November 15 premiere. That’s why JET caught up with Diggs, Long and Lathan for an exclusive chat about the evolution of their characters, what makes this franchise so special and, of course, the current state of Black cinema.
TO LEARN WHAT NIA, TAYE AND SANAA EACH HAD TO SAY PICK UP THE NEW ISSUE OF JET MAGAZINE, ON SALE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4.
Check out a featurette from The Best Man Holiday here: