Since 1999, the cast of Malcolm D. Lee’s “The Best Man” has been around the world and back again.
Now, fourteen years later, the cast has reunited for its sequel in “The Best Man Holiday” — and why not? Written and directed by Lee, “Holiday” doesn’t miss a beat, picking up 15 years after its predecessor, and the rivalries, romance, and all-around camaraderie have not been lost among the longtime friends.
“The Best Man Holiday,” starring Nia Long (Jordan), Regina Hall (Candace), Morris Chestnut (Lance), Terrence Howard (Quentin), Monica Calhoun (Mia), Harold Perrineau (Julian), Taye Diggs (Harper), Melissa De Sousa (Shelby), and Sanaa Lathan (Robyn), hits theaters today, and we’ve assembled 20 things you probably don’t know about its cast to celebrate the long-awaited sequel.
1. Nia Long played Will Smith’s girlfriend and fiancée on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” from 1994 through 1995. Interestingly enough, Jada Pinkett-Smith — Smith’s current wife — was originally supposed to play the part, but was deemed too short opposite the 6’2″ Smith.
2. Terrence Howard’s great-grandmother, Minnie Gentry, was a stage actress and is credited with spurring Howard’s interest in acting.
4. Filling in for the male lead, Taye Diggs temporarily appeared in a Broadway production of “Wicked” opposite his wife, Idina Menzel, in 2003. Previously, they were featured together in the Tony Award-winning “Rent.” Diggs revisited his role as Benny, the landlord, for the movie version of “Rent” in 2005.
6. The parents of Harold Perrineau legally changed the actor’s last name to Williams — his father’s surname — when he was seven years old. Upon realizing there was already a Harold Williams in the Screen Actors Guild, Perrineau changed his name back. Perrineau is his mother’s maiden name.
7. Besides the two “Best Man” films, Regina Hall and Sanaa Lathan also appeared together in 2000’s “Love & Basketball” and “Disappearing Acts.”
8. Due to home repairs, Hall temporarily lived with Lathan in 2006.
9. Back in 1993, Monica Calhoun was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for her performance in an episode of “CBS Schoolbreak Special” titled, “Different Worlds: A Story of Interracial Love.”
10. Melissa De Sousa claims that people often call her Shelby, her character’s name. She takes it as a compliment and a testament to her acting skills.
11. While Chestnut acknowledges that many celebs don’t mind having their private lives becoming public for publicity’s sake, he prefers to maintain a boundary between his personal and work life.
12. In 2003, Diggs went for a routine doctor’s visit only to be punked by Ashton Kutcher. Turns out the doctor’s office was taken over by the “Punk’d” team.
13. Long’s given name, Nia, is one of the seven days of Kwanzaa, which means “purpose” in Swahili.
14. Growing up, Lathan split her time between Beverly Hills, where she lived with her father, director Stan Lathan, and New York, where she lived with her mother, Broadway actress Eleanor McCoy.
15. Howard is a self-taught musician and even released his own album, “Shine Through It,” in 2008. Released through Columbia Records, Howard wrote or co-wrote all the songs and has described the album as “urban country.”
16. Perrineau’s character in “The Matrix” series, Link, was only written into the script after the actor (Marcus Chong) who portrayed the original ship operator, Tank, was written out of the franchise’s sequel due to contract disputes.
17. Lathan starred on Broadway in “A Raisin in the Sun” as Beneatha Younger and earned a Tony Award nomination for the portrayal.
18. Diggs narrated ESPN Films‘ acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary “The Fab Five.” The film focused on the influence and scandal surrounding University of Michigan basketball players Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson.
19. Perrineau and his wife, Brittany, welcomed a baby girl, Holiday Grace, on March 21, 2013. It is the couple’s third child.
20. “All My Children” was De Sousa’s go-to show after a long day of work. Sadly, the soap opera is no longer on the air.
from The Moviefone Blog http://news.moviefone.com/2013/11/15/best-man-holiday-cast-facts/