A Filmmaker's Kind of Town
In choosing a setting for the sequel, it was a natural progression for the filmmakers to return to Chicago, shooting on actual streets in the South Side and going back to the neighborhood where the first Barbershop was filmed. "Bringing everyone from the cast and crew back together to the same spot allowed us to keep the heart and familiarity of the story," says producer Tillman. "Everyone just picked up where they left off."
The first film was shot in the dead of winter, so the cast spent much of their time huddled around heaters and getting used to the Midwestern cold. This time around it was summer in the city, and the cast and filmmakers relished the change. "We spent the summer enjoying the heat, great restaurants, amazing shopping, and all that Chi-town has to offer," says
Teitel, who was born and raised in Chicago, and Tillman, also a Midwesterner, met each other in Columbia College's film school. After shooting their first feature, Scenes from the Soul, and their breakout hit Soul Food in Chicago, they'd established strong bonds with its production community and love the look and feel of the city.
"George and I have known most of these people for over ten years, so it feels comfortable for us to come here," says Teitel. "And the talent is amazing in Chicago. We're able to hire many people locally."
Of their commitment to shooting in Chicago, Tillman says, "I look at filmmakers I admire like Spike Lee and Woody Allen. They make all of their films out of New York. There haven't really been 'Chicago' filmmakers, but that's how we look at ourselves. Barbershop and Barbershop 2 both take place on 79th Street around the South Side. The city's a character in the film."
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