Why ‘The Kitchen’ Made Tiffany Haddish’s Mom Cry

This weekend’s new release The Kitchen is about to show Tiffany Haddish in a whole new light. The crime drama star Haddish, Melissa McCarthy and Elisabeth Moss as mob wives in 1978 Hell’s Kitchen who take over their husbands’ business when they go to jail. The Kitchen is based on the Vertigo comic, and the film is written and directed by Andrea Berloff.

Tiffany Haddish in The Kitchen
Tiffany Haddish as Ruby in The Kitchen: Alison Cohen Rosa/Warner Bros.

Haddish has a lot going on, including the ABC series Kids Say the Darndest Things. She spoke with the Television Critics Association today about rebooting the show and also shared her mother’s reaction to The Kitchen. We’ll have more about Kids Say the Darndest Things when it premiers October 6. The Kitchen is in theaters Friday, August 9.

Tiffany Haddish and her mom shared a cry after ‘The Kitchen’ screening

Audiences are always surprised when comedians do drama. No matter how many Robin Williamses, Tom Hankses, Jim Carreys or Sarah Silvermans do drama, it’s always a shock to people who know them as comedians. Tiffany Haddish will be no exception, but this time it affected her mother too.

Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy in The Kitchen
Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy in The Kitchen | Alison Cohen Rosa/Warner Bros.

“I was surprised when I saw The Kitchen,” Haddish said. “I saw it and I walked out of the theater crying because I realize I still got some mommy issues. My mom was watching it too and she came up behind me and I looked back and she’s crying too. I said, ‘Why are you crying?’ She said, ‘Because you stole my look. You stole my look.’”

What Tiffany Haddish’s character in ‘The Kitchen’ has in common with her mother

1978 is about when Haddish’s mother would have been Haddish’s age. Plus, the period era hair and costume added to the similarities. 

“When I was watching it, I couldn’t even see myself,” Haddish said. “All I saw was my mom. I just was like, ‘We gotta talk, Mom. We need to go to counseling. We’ve got a lot of stuff we’ve gotta work on.”

Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish in The Kitchen | Alison Cohen Rosa/Warner Bros.

There are other similarities, but it was mainly visually emotional.

“Being a businesswoman of sorts but the look,” Haddish said. “It was more so the look that really got me.”

Tiffany Haddish sold Andrea Berloff on ‘The Kitchen’

Tiffany Haddish supports female filmmakers. She pushed Berloff to help make it happen.

“I wanted to be in that so bad and I pushed to get on that,” Haddish said. “I was the first one to sign up and that brought everybody else to it, and all those people that worked [on the film]. I feel like if I keep working, that’s going to put so many kids through college. It’s going to take care of so many futures. If I work, we work.”

Andrea Berloff directs Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy
Andrea Berloff directs Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy | Alison Cohen Rosa/Warner Bros.

Creating jobs for other artists is one of the reasons Haddish works so hard.

“I want to create job opportunities for people in my community, for people that grew up like me, that want to be positive and contribute to society in a good way,” Haddish said. “So if I can put a bunch of irons in the fire, you can just imagine how many people are working because I’m working so hard. There’s 200 people on a crew just for Kids Say the Darndest Things. I’m doing another show up in Toronto, that’s 200 people on that crew. All the animations for Tuca & Bertie and for these different cartoons that I’m doing. All the people that were employed because I pushed Andrea Berloff to do The Kitchen.”