Entertainment

The Best Man Cast Then and Now

It’s been 23 years since followers had been launched to Malcolm D. Lee’s “Black Pack” in his 1999 debut movie, “The Best Man.” Now, the cast — together with Taye Diggs (Harper), Morris Chestnut (Lance), Nia Long (Jordan), Sanaa Lathan (Robin), Melissa De Sousa (Shelby), Terrence Howard (Quentin), and Regina Hall (Candace) — are bidding farewell to their cult-classic franchise with Peacock’s “The Best Man: The Final Chapters,” an eight-part restricted collection that follows the school good friend group of their older years as they navigate their evolving relationships and previous grievances.

“It’s an opportunity to embrace them, see a reflection of themselves, and have some great nostalgia flowing.”

The backdrop of the present is, in fact, Harper’s notorious novel “Unfinished Business,” which will get tailored right into a film within the collection, offering the proper full-circle second to shut the e-book on “The Best Man.” “‘Unfinished Business’ was a key part of the ‘Best Man’ film. It felt right [to include] some 20-something years later if we’re revisiting and bringing this group and stories forward for a series,” coshowrunner Dayna Lynne North tells POPSUGAR. “It’s a way to connect the past to the present because, for me, this is not a reboot, it’s a ‘Where are they now?’ kind of thing. So ‘Unfinished Business’ and Harper, still a source of mess. The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Fans have been ready for Peacock’s extremely anticipated collection ever because it was first introduced in February 2021. Lee, the creator of the Best Man franchise, notes that the ultimate installment was initially purported to be a 3rd and fourth movie however thought a restricted collection was significantly better fitted to what audiences have been “clamoring” for.

“They really feel an affinity to them, so I love that people still want to see them and I still have something to say about these characters,” Lee says. “That’s rare. I think [viewers] are going to appreciate this time, especially around the holidays, to spend time with old friends that they met back in 1999. It’s an opportunity to embrace them, see a reflection of themselves, and have some great nostalgia flowing.”

THE BEST MAN, from left: Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs, 1999. ph: David Lee / Universal /Courtesy Everett Collection

Image Source: Everett Collection

The “Best Man” cast credit score Lee’s genius writing as the rationale their franchise has lasted so lengthy. “It started on the page,” De Sousa remarks. “He wrote a great script for the first movie, he wrote great characters, and he picked the right actors. It’s literally one of those things that you can’t explain. It was magic. We wouldn’t have known from day one that it would’ve lasted all of these years.”

Hall provides, “I think people really got invested in those characters and they’ve grown up with us, so they’ve watched us go through things that they’ve gone through. The good thing about the franchise is that it’s had enough time between each reincarnation for people to experience them at different stages in their lives.”

“We wouldn’t have known from day one that it would’ve lasted all of these years.”

The fervor of “The Best Man” has largely remained in followers’ hearts as a result of each member of the cast has been booked and busy since 1999. “One of the things that have helped sustain the interest is when you look at the cast from the very first ‘Best Man,’ we’ve all continued to go on and do so many other things,” Chestnut explains. “Our fan bases from the other things have continued to grow, so when we came together for the second [movie], it brought all the fans back. They’ve seen all the films throughout the years, so not only have they followed us in the movies, they’ve followed our careers on different paths, [too].”

All these years later, the cast discover consolation in understanding their franchise is iconic sufficient to final one other 20-plus years for the following era to get pleasure from. Looking again at “The Best Man,” a few of them nonetheless snort at their favourite scenes from the movie. “My favorite one is my first Shelby scene where you’re introduced to the character,” De Sousa shares. “Because I remember at the premiere, that scene, the audience burst into applause after my first scene: ‘I’m watching you, Harper.’ I can’t ever repeat that, I don’t know how that happened — some of it was improv on my part — but it’s one of my favorite moments of my career.”

Meanwhile, Chestnut, Long, and Hall notice that the latter could have had the most effective scene of all of them. “We talked about the stripper scene with Candace,” Chestnut quips with amusing, whereas Long provides, “That was a long night. I was so proud of Regina. I always think of her and how this was one of her first roles and she came in and just owned that strip scene and I was in awe of her like, ‘Holy sh*t. I don’t know if I could do that.'”

There are loads extra beloved scenes the Best Man franchise has gifted us through the years — from all the fellows lip-syncing New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain?” in “The Best Man Holiday” and Lance’s clean and attractive entrance within the first film to Jordan’s iconic “I don’t want to hear about no godd*mn peas” line (and her slap for Harper heard world wide). Now, the hope is that “The Best Man: The Final Chapters,” now streaming on Peacock, will provide followers extra heat reminiscences.

Ahead, take a nostalgic look again at “The Best Man” cast’s careers and the place they’re right now.

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