Tiffany Haddish Dances to the Beat of Her Never-Ending Internal Soundtrack

This summer, Tiffany Haddish plays a marijuana-smoking cat (“The Freak Brothers”), a detective pulled out of retirement (“The Afterparty”), a psychic in a film based on a Disneyland ride (“Haunted Mansion”) and the mother of a child who broadcasts his love life to aliens (“Landscape With Invisible Hand”). For her, the mom is the most relatable.

“I’ve raised my sisters and brothers,” she said in a phone interview from Los Angeles in June. “When I was married, I was raising my ex-husband’s kid. I know what it feels like.”

The biggest reach was the psychic. Haddish, 43, said she’s no psychic, but she does set expectations. Every night before she goes to bed, she writes down what happened that day and what she wants to get out of the next one.

“It always starts with ‘I am,’” she said. “I am going to break this man’s heart tomorrow because he’s on my last, last …”

Haddish talked about the other tools — the tea, movies, music and dancing — she relies on to navigate her days. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.


My backyard is full of things like celery, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, basil — all the things that you need to survive. I started gardening when I was a kid. As an adult, I started growing vegetables as a way to escape from the shenanigans going on in my life. Even when I was homeless, I would grow cucumbers in a cup in the car window. It was like: If I can grow these seeds, I can do anything. They would die.


Right now, I have an American bulldog named Slumber and a Maltese-Yorkie mix called Sleeper. Both of them are named after things I really want to do. I used to raise pit bulls, which I think are the sweetest, most obedient, friendly, helpful dogs ever. Pit bulls are way smarter than American bulldogs.


Traveling so much, I don’t know, something about being on airplanes gives me a little backup. So, at least once a week I like to drink some Smooth Move tea mixed with hibiscus tea.


It’s my go-to movie when I’m sad. It makes me laugh every single time, and it brings me joy. I turned over a Blockbuster Video back in the day ’cause they didn’t have it. I knocked over two racks on my way out. That’s when I decided to buy the movie. But I bought it at a different store. I had to leave that Blockbuster.


It’s my favorite water to drink. I don’t know what kind of island this is I’m on, so I definitely want some fresh alkaline spring water. I don’t want to drink purified water — I might as well just drink out the back of the toilet. I want to drink water from streams, springs, from the Earth.


I use it for everything. I use it to fry foods. Sometimes I put it on my elbows and knees. It makes all that crumpled-up skin nice and soft. Sometimes I put it all over my body. Grape seeds are really good for you. That’s why I’m so mad they took all the seeds out of grapes. You need them seeds. How you going to be fruitful? They’re trying to kill us, man.


It’s funny because when she first came out, I was like, I don’t know about this. It’s kind of corny. Then they played those songs over and over on the radio, and the next thing you know, you’re like, yeah, jumping around and dancing. I can get with Taylor Swift. I have a good time with Taylor Swift’s music, reflecting on past things, past relationships.


It’s necessary. I try to dance every day. It keeps you young. Eating my food, I’m dancing. Trying on clothes, I’m dancing. There’s a soundtrack always going in my head.


I like a good washcloth. I know a lot of people out here, they use soap and water and that’s it. Well, I beg to differ. You need something to remove the dead skin and the dirt. And even if you run out of soap, if you have a washcloth, you can always clean. When I go somewhere and they don’t have no washcloths, I’ll be feeling like people are dirty.


I’ve read the Louise Hay book “Heal Your Body” at least four or five times. I’ve been sick a few times. We all been sick here and there. The book has helped me to talk to my body and learn what’s affecting me, why I’m acting the way I am and why I got sick. It was very helpful to me.


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