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The Cast
A barbershop needs cutters and customers, so once they'd solidified their script, Story and the producers set about casting it. When it came time to fill the role of shop owner Calvin, everyone agreed no one could better capture Calvin's quiet frustration than actor Ice Cube. Known for often playing hard-edged characters in films like Boyz in the Hood, Three Kings and his successful Friday trilogy, the role of Calvin offered Cube an opportunity to show a new dimension of his capabilities.

Cube understood his character's inner struggle the common frustration and feeling that his life is going nowhere. "I think Calvin's ambitious and doesn't realize he's sitting on something precious," says Cube. "He just wants better. That's a lot of us. We get to a certain point and we always expect more and don't really know how to be satisfied."

In terms of his career, "My goal is to be a part of great projects," Cube says. "When a great one comes along and I'm right for the part and I think I can make the movie better by my presence, then everything kind of falls in line. What really motivates me is the script, the story and character, and the people I'm working with. Those are the things that really motivate me more than anything."

In addition to his artistic attraction to the role, Barbershop afforded Cube the opportunity to work with Teitel and Tillman, Jr. "I think they're very smart and very talented," he says. "Their movies come out rich and full, not just surface treatments. Their films are full of vivid characters, and this script says a lot. There are a lot of things said among black folks that won't get said in the real world, and in this movie we pull those things out."

Although some actors are nervous about working with first time directors, Cube recognized a talent in Tim Story. "Tim is very, very smart," says Cube. "When directors go through this for the first time they can get caught up in ‘I want to show I can run the show.' Tim wasn't like that. He knew he was the leader of this ensemble of amazing talent, and he just wanted to use it all to the best of his ability to create a great movie. He's a great director."

For the role of Eddie, the semi-retired older barber who's worked in the barbershop for several generations (and rarely actually cuts hair anymore), the filmmakers looked to comedy sensation Cedric the Entertainer. Coming off his massive success with The Original Kings of Comedy, Cedric wanted to sink his teeth into a role with a dramatic turn that would also showcase his comedic talents. "In the script, Eddie is very opinionated, usually shooting off his mouth with some half-truths or another," says Cedric. "With that I saw a lot of comedic and dramatic opportunity, and I knew I'd have a lot of leniency with this character.

"Eddie has been there through generations and is the older statesman of the shop," Cedric continues. "He's there to explain the significance of the barbershop in the neighborhood and to teach the young barbers. Basically, Eddie enjoys the social atmosphere of the place. It's his country club. The shop is where he belongs. His name is on the wall in the Hall Of Fame, and he's happy to let you know it.

"There were so many things in the script that I was drawn to immediately," he says. "It's so realistic. I love the attitude of the people coming in and out and all the diverse characters. I understood all of that, especially growing up in St. Louis. St. Louis is a very Midwestern kind of city and has the same feel as Chicago, so I knew it would have the right energy.

On working with director Tim Story, Cedric says, "Another key thing that attracted me to the project was working with Bob and George, and I knew that they really t

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