For many people of color – especially Black men – the barbershop is a right of passage. It allows men to talk about sports, politics, movies, etc., and also gives the younger generation a glimpse into manhood. On September 13, 2002, the film Barbershop was released. Through its hilarious scenes, powerful storyline and its amazing cast of characters, this movie perfectly encapsulated the timeless experiences of barbershops across the country.
Barbershop was directed by Tim Story, and written by Mark Brown, Don D. Scott and Marshall Todd, and stars Ice Cube, Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Michael Ealy, Keith David Williams, and Cedric the Entertainer. It centers around the happenings in a barbershop owned by Calvin Palmer, Jr., (Ice Cube) located on the South Side of Chicago. Throughout the film we see the shop’s many personalities, and also come to learn just how important these long-standing establishments are to their respective communities.
The film was a box office success and still has audiences laughing two decades later. Take a look at the cast of Barbershop – then and now.
Calvin Palmer, Jr.
The current owner of the barbershop and son of its founder, Calvin Palmer, Jr., decides to sell the shop due to financial woes. After spending a day at work, and realizing just how vital the barbershop is to the surrounding community, he attempts to buy it back from a greedy loan shark.
The legendary rapper, actor, and filmmaker rose to prominence with N.W.A’s 1988 album Straight Outta Compton. Prior to Barbershop, Cube appeared in Boyz N The Hood, Friday, The Player’s Club, and more. Now he is the owner of Big3, a 3-on-3 basketball league starring former NBA players.
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images for BIG3
Ricky is the young barber with a checkered past. Although he’s trying to get his life on track, his past continues to haunt him.
After getting his big break in Barbershop, Ealy has become one of the most bankable stars in Black Hollywood. He has starred in Barbershop 2, Takers, For Colored Girls, and Think Like A Man Too.
Photo by Momodu Mansaray/WireImage
Two-bit criminal and Ricky’s (Michael Ealy) cousin, J.D. steals an ATM which puts in place a crazy series of events.
Since the release of Barbershop, Howard University alum Anthony Anderson has hosted several game/talk shows, as well as starring as Andre “Dre” Johnson in ABC’s hit sitcom Black-ish.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
The wise-cracking elder statesman of the barbershop, Eddie Walker is a reminder of tradition, and how important the establishment was to the neighborhood.
Cedric the Entertainer
Already a legendary comedian by the time of Barbershop’s premiere, Cedric the Entertainer went on to achieve great things in the industry. He did plenty of voiceover work, and also starred in The Honeymooners, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Cadillac Records, and more. In 2021, he hosted the 73rd Annual Emmys.
Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
The only woman in the barbershop, but she holds her own. Terri also has a cheating philandering boyfriend which doesn’t help in managing her anger.
The Philadelphia rapper had already reached platinum success with her first two albums before appearing in her second film Barbershop. Since then, Eve has taken a step back from the music industry but jumped head first into film & TV, starring in her own sitcom, as well as being in the main cast for ABC’s Queens.
Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images
The greedy loan shark that buys Calvin’s barbershop, who plans on turning the establishment into a strip club.
Keith David Williams
Having appeared in over 300 across film, stage and television, Keith David Williams is one of the most recognizable actors in Black Hollywood. His signature voice can also be heard as the narration for dozens of movies, as well as characters for video games such as Transformers, Halo, and Saints Row.
The well-to-do barber that wants to achieve more than being a barber. His demeanor can sometimes be condescending, but similar to Ricky, he is just misunderstood.
Sean Patrick Thomas
Sean Patrick Thomas rose to fame a year prior to Barbershop, starring in Save The Last Dance alongside Julia Stiles. Now, he is a tenured actor, having roles in N.C.I.S., S.W.A.T., Insecure, and The Tragedy of Macbeth.
Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images
The typical salesman that comes into the barbershop trying to sell CDs, food, etc., to Calvin’s customers as they wait.
After Barbershop, Davis burst onto the scene in Kanye West’s “Through The Wire” video in 2003, and had roles in Semi-Pro, Jumping The Broom, 21 Jump Street, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. He also has been part of the main cast for Wild’n Out and John Singleton’s Snowfall.
Photo by Steve Granitz/FilmMagic
One of the shop’s customers, Darrel had larger roles in subsequent films in the Barbershop franchise.
He is best known for his role in the sitcom Black-ish, which earned him nominations for two NAACP Image Awards and two SAG Awards. Cole was also nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for co-writing the late-night talk shows The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Conan.