Tiffany Haddish dishes on doing first-ever sex scene

Chris Witherspoon 

 “was written very sensual but classy and not like over-the-top. I trusted the director.”

The acclaimed comedian who shot to fame with her breakout role in 2017’s Girls Trip is delving into some seriously heavy drama in The Card Counter. Haddish stars alongside Oscar IsaacTye Sheridan and Willem Dafoe, in the dramatic thriller that hits theaters nationwide Friday. 

The film, executive produced by Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese, tells the story of William Tell (Oscar Isaac) a former special ops soldier haunted by harrowing crimes he committed while in Iraq.

After serving time in prison, he reinvents himself as a professional gambler on the American poker circuit, but his actions abroad haunt him to his core, even after he swaps isolation and despair for love and connection. His only solution is to violently reckon with his own past.  

Haddish stars as La Linda, an alluring agent who finds financial backers for players on the pro circuit who need to be staked. La Linda is not only one of Haddish’s more dramatic turns as an actress but also one of the sexiest characters she’s ever played. 

Haddish revealed in an interview with theGrio that playing sexy in the absence of comedy doesn’t come easy to her. 

“No, it’s not easy because I’m funny,” she said. “You just have to turn certain things off. Like, ‘OK, I want to crack a joke right here. I really want to smile hard right here.’ I was going against my instincts on certain things but luckily we had rehearsal. So in the rehearsals, I got to play.”

In The Card Counter, Haddish filmed her first-ever sex scene with Isaac. Throughout her career, the 41-year-old actress has been reluctant to do any nudity or sex scenes, citing that the offers for roles she previously received lacked dignity. 

“I’ve never turned down a role because I wouldn’t do sex scenes, I turned it down because I wasn’t going to be demeaned. I’ll do a sex scene, it just depends on how are we doin’ this sex?” she said.

With this film under the direction of Paul Schrader, Haddish felt as though she was in good hands. 

“It’s my first time ever having a sex scene. It was written very sensual, but classy, and not like over-the-top. I trusted the director,” she added. ”I know he’s not trying to bring me down… and Oscar Isaac is kind of handsome.” 

Haddish is also getting ready to play three-time Olympic gold medal winner Florence Griffith Joyner in an upcoming biopic that she’s also producing. The Night School actress spent this past summer getting into Olympic shape, dropping 50 pounds for the role. 

Tiffany Haddish is producing and starring in a biopic about Olympian Florence Griffith Joyner.

She told theGrio that moviegoers will see FloJo’s athletic triumphs as well as her real-life love story on the screen.

“I’m bringing Flo-Jo. It’s going to feel like a little resurrection is happening. What I love about the Flo-Jo situation is it’s not just about the sport. It’s about the love between her and her husband (former track athlete Al Joyner) that got her to those gold medals…. that love and support of each other. I think we need to be seeing more movies like that, more real-life stories like that,” she said.

Haddish says she’s learned that teamwork in a relationship is the true key to success. 

“I have never seen anyone Black and successful do it by themselves or do it without love,” she confessed, “It’s always love involved and there’s always support there. You have to pay attention to that and that needs to be out there more.”