Taye Diggs has made a name for himself in Hollywood and beyond for being a solid bet in the box office. (Who can forget How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Brown Sugar and even The Wood?)
Still, the actor recently revealed how Hollywood failed to realize the sequel to The Best Man‘s commercial value. Diggs said signing on to reprise his role as author Harper Stewart was “bittersweet” because the original film did well ($34 million domestically to be exactly) and if it had been a romantic comedy with White actors, money and time would have been set aside to create a second and third movie.
“I feel like they looked at Black movies like a cute little project,” Diggs told Netflix’s Strong Black Lead host Tracy Clayton. “Whereas if it had been a superhero movie, with some no-name White kid, it would have already been written.”
To add insult to injury, the coins—14 years later—weren’t much better in 2013, even though the cast had collected several movie credits and nods, including Terrance Howard’s Oscar nomination for Hustle & Flow. The Best Man stars reprised their roles, earning half the money they were worth.
“And it’s embarrassing, not embarrassing, it’s disrespectful to go to a studio and look at these people in their face and go, ‘You know how much I’m worth. I know how much I’m worth but you’re smiling at me asking me to do this for pennies,’” Diggs said.
The NAACP Image Award winner and his castmates took one for the team—and the culture—and loyal audiences showed up. “The movie was more than we thought,” Diggs shared. “I didn’t know it was going to affect people in the same way.”
The Best Man Holiday made $71 domestically—$37 million more than the original made in 1999. And fans are patiently waiting for the series’ next chapter. Diggs told The Talk last month that the script has already been written and that Best Man 3 may come as a series “on a streaming platform.”
The Best Man brought together some of the biggest names in Black Hollywood, including Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Terrence Howard, Saanaa Lathan, Harold Perrineau and Monica Calhoun.