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BEAUTY SHOP

Shop Talk
The haircutting and styling is authentic, but there was one other key salon ingredient the filmmakers were intent on capturing: the shop talk. The Barbershop movies are notorious for their frank talk, and Beauty Shop is no different. Often the actors would get on a topic and improvise in character, the more outrageous the better – and they had a fabulous time doing it.

"The bikini wax thing was a serious discussion,” Latifah laughs. "Men crying was definitely a discussion. Politics always becomes a discussion, especially in an election year. And of course, image. Image is always something that comes into play. We got into ‘Why does so-and-so look like that?' and ‘Who needs a makeover?' With the exception of male issues and political talk, we actually kept it pretty shallow – just where we wanted it to be,” she laughs.

Alfre Woodard says, "You know, with beauty shops, that's like saying ‘my poker game.' When you sit down to a poker game, there's a certain atmosphere and there's rules and decorum. You switch into poker game mode, and that's kind of the same with a beauty shop. There's always this thing that happens when you get in there. You get hyped, you get chatty, and you talk a lot. It's like stream-of-consciousness, but in a communal sense. If you disagree, you're hollering ‘No!' and if you're agreeing you're screaming ‘Yes!' There's a heightened sense of hysteria.”

"You have customers that can talk, you have all the stylists that can talk, and people talk about all kinds of different issues,” director Woodruff says. "We touch on everything from hybrid cars to sex and relationships. There are a million things to talk about, and we tried to touch on a diverse representation of some of the things people want to speak their minds on.”

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