For all of those who have not seen “What Men Want” yet, mark your calendars because the outrageously hilarious film will be released on blu-ray on May 7.
After being passed up for a well-deserved promotion, sports agent Ali Davis [Taraji P. Henson] wonders what else she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world. Ali finds herself visiting an eccentric psychic [Erykah Badu] during a bachelorette party who gives her a strange concoction to drink. Suddenly Ali’s prayers are answered when she is gifted with the ability to hear what men are thinking. Using her newfound ability, Ali starts to turn the tables on her obnoxious male colleagues while also learning some hard truths about herself.
The Knockturnal was able to catch up with author, choreographer, producer and director of What Men Want, Adam Shankman as well as Tamala Jones who plays Ali’s good friend, Mari. Find out what Tamala wants in a man, what cast members they would like to hear the thoughts of, drama behind the scenes and so much more!
The Knockturnal: In the movie the ladies go to see a psychic, have either of you guys been to a psychic and what’s the most important thing you would want to know?
Tamala Jones: I just had a psychic reading right now but I’ve been to many psychics before this reading and most the time what I want to know about is my love life and also my career.
Adam Shankman: Your love life? Just look online!
Tamala Jones: Really, really though! Really just look online.
Adam Shankman: You don’t need a psychic just hit Google!
Tamala Jones: And you’ll see all the men from my past life. But no like you know, what’s up? Am I going to have any kids? That kind of stuff. I don’t think I’m having any kids.
The Knockturnal: Do you want kids?
Tamala Jones: Sometimes. Sometimes I do, you know?
The Knockturnal: Are you on any of the dating apps?
Tamala Jones: I refuse to date app, app date, whatever it’s called. I believe in the chemistry; when you see someone across the room, that feeling that you get, the eyes, you know you guys exchanging looks, the smell of the person. You know you can’t get any of that. And whoever dates online that’s fine for you but that just doesn’t work for me, I need to see you.
Adam Shankman: Have you tried it?
Tamala Jones: I did, you know what, I signed up for blasianlove. I wanted some Asian love, some Black and Asian love. Blasianlove.com!
Adam Shankman: Blasian love? That’s our next frickin movie! Are you kidding? Blasian love ohhhh [singing]!
Tamala Jones: I’ve seen all these cute Black girls with these fine ass Asian dudes so I wanted to…I don’t know, I just gave up.
Adam Shankman: You might want to try to not be quite so specific.
Tamala Jones: Well I just wanted to step outside the box so I’m like, let me see if I can date an Asian dude you know? But the guys that they were sending to me for my profile, they were old looking and not cute so I was like, do I date younger dudes on here like I don’t know.
The Knockturnal: Look at Priyanka [Chopra], she found love in a younger guy!
Tamala Jones: Yeah, yeah, yeah, ooh yes, could be. I just couldn’t do the dating thing, the checking the profile, who liked your picture, who’s looking, it became annoying. I want to see you in my face.
The Knockturnal: If you could hear the thoughts of anyone on the cast, who would it be and why?
Adam Shankman: I think the only one that I could handle might be, Max. I’d be fine with Max Greenfield. Jason I love so much…like Taraji [P. Henson], I know what’s going on there. It’s like, that looks like a Cuisinart wrapped in like Gucci tin foil, like I don’t know what the hell that is. Then Josh [Brener] I was like, it’s neurotic. Then Erykah [Badu] it’s too smoky in there. So I was like, I guess Max for me, that’s the safest.
Tamala Jones: I said Tracy Morgan already so I’ll give you somebody different.
Adam Shankman: If that’s who you want to hear, you can stay with Tracy.
Tamala Jones: Ok well yeah Tracy because he’s so funny. I’ve worked with him many times in the past, I didn’t get a chance to work with him in any scenes in this movie but I heard from Taraji that he goes off book and he goes to a whole other place. [Speaking to Adam] I wanted to ask you, because I don’t remember this in the script. When he said he had toast in his pocket was that a Tracy Morgan thing or was that in the script?
Adam Shankman: No that was in the script. That was in the script
Tamala Jones: Oh it was? Because that part, I was like that sounds like something…
Adam Shankman: You know what it was? The guys that wrote the last draft had written for Tracy before so they kinda knew he would kill on this line. They knew Tracy, they’ve written for Tracy.
Tamala Jones: He killed it but he just goes so far left.
Adam Shankman: [Addressing Tamala] When was The Tracy Morgan Show?
Tamala Jones: That was 2004.
Adam Shankman: That was 2004 and you were on it? You played his wife?
Tamala Jones: I played his wife and then we did Head of State together, the was the first thing so you know I just love him and I’m glad that he’s still here with us but he is so freaking funny, everything that comes out of his mouth; [impersonating Tracy] hey you sweet like bear meat, you ever taste bear meat before Adam? Like everything, like why are you talking about bear meat? Nobody eats a bear you know? Tracy’s just so funny and adorable so I would want to be in his mind.
The Knockturnal: That’s also why I wanted to know, the movie was so funny but what was the hardest scene to direct or to be in without laughing?
Adam Shankman: Without laughing for me was the readings, the Erykah readings because I was laughing. I actually made the put my chair further away because I was laughing, I couldn’t stop laughing because I didn’t know what was coming in those scenes.
Tamala Jones: They were the ones.
Adam Shankman: I know you said you were laughing a bunch in the…
Tamala Jones: Oh the reading scenes and then the girlfriend scenes at the Mexican restaurant.
Adam Shankman: The apology tour!
Tamala Jones: When we were talking about how sh*tty of a friend she was, how us girls went off; sh*tty sh*tty bang bang.
Adam Shankman: Well because I said, “just say sh*t,” just tell her how sh*tty she is and everybody just kept saying how sh*tty she was and I was laughing! That was hard to cut because nobody was doing the same thing from one angle to the other.
The Knockturnal: What about that wedding scene, the big brawl?
Adam Shankman: That was challenging for me to shoot just because, by the way this scene was much longer when we shot it and it was an uncomfortable scene because we didn’t end up in that location until two days before we shot the scene and the scene had been scripted out in the park so it was like a huge outdoor wedding that was supposed to and then weather started coming and so we were frantically searching for places and I had just shot the finale of Being Mary Jane in the best sort of hotel space with a wedding in it and I was like, if we’re going to do this, if sh*t’s going to go down, let’s just put it in a church. And so let’s find a church that’s close to where we’re shooting and so they found that church. It didn’t occur to me how shocking some of that language was going to be when you’re actually in the church. When we got in there and started doing it I was like, I got really uncomfortable and was like, this is a mistake, this is a mistake, this is a mistake and then I was just like, well it’s too late we just gotta boldly go forward and let it be what it’s supposed to be. So that happened, but again it was a lot longer and developed a lot more and there was even weirdly more drama inside of it and just to tighten it up was hard. Again I don’t know what it was like to be in it but for me it was hard.
Tamala Jones: It just felt like I was at church because they was in there cooking collard greens, cornbread and stuff so I was like, let’s hurry up so we can go eat.
Adam Shankman: Which is always what Taraji would say to me!
Tamala Jones: No it was a fun scene, it was very technical because…
Adam Shankman: There were a lot of people to shoot.
Tamala Jones: It was a good scene.
Adam Shankman: So you’re doing all that stuff a lot of times because I had to get everybody. It’s tedious. Making movies is tedious!
What Men Want is available now on digital & will be on Blu-ray & DVD on May 7.