Jacob Latimore made a rare comedic guest appearance in the Miguel Arteta comedy Like a Boss which stars Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne as rising cosmetics entrepreneurs.
As the film is set to arrive on DVD, Latimore spoke with The Knockturnal about his memories working on the film, as well as what to expect from the upcoming season of the Showtime series The Chi, which he stars on.
The Knockturnal: Looking back on the movie, can you talk about your experiences of working with Tiffany Haddish? What did you take away from working with her?
Jacob Latimore: I actually probably had the quickest shooting time. I was filming, I think it was season two of The Chi, so I was able to leave Chicago for about four days. I kind of begged production at The Chi to really take some time out or try to move some things around the schedule so I could do this project [Like a Boss] and do this guest-starring role with Tiffany Haddish because I think this would be really cool and be fun. So they were like family over there. They were just like hey, yeah, of course we can work it around with you to make sure you’re able to do the role. So I finished all my scenes in about three days, so I didn’t really spend a serious amount of time with Tiffany like her other castmates did. They filmed the movie for about two months in Atlanta. And then right after I had to get back to Chicago to finish filming The Chi. The time I did have with Tiffany was incredible, you know, she’s a boss. She’s a boss about her craft. I love how she just takes control and takes command of how she wants to perform. But she’s also a team player too. She’s got everybody’s back and wants to see everybody win. So I just saw the work ethic that she’s been putting into all of this. And the reason she is where she is now is because she just doesn’t stop. So it was really dope.
The Knockturnal: So which way would you say your character in Like a Boss is like yourself?
Jacob Latimore: Actually, I think it’s not me at all, to be honest. Just something as simple as cooking the pancakes in the morning. I’m definitely not much of a cook, I can cook some pancakes if I tried, but the character was totally different from me. I usually don’t date much, much older women. He was in it. So I really just had to kind of find that fun-ness. I’m already a goofy guy anyway, so I knew doing certain things in the kitchen was going to be fun anyway. So I’m just happy I got to explore a different character that is totally different from me.
The Knockturnal: Are there any scenes that you filmed that didn’t make it into the final cut of the movie?
Jacob Latimore: Actually the scene where the two main characters kind of fall apart and they are going through some stuff; there’s a scene where Tiffany’s character is laying in my character’s bed and I’m bringing her tea. I was actually singing to her but they put music over it. The director wanted this song that he wanted me to sing and I had to learn it overnight. I really wasn’t a huge fan of the song. I was trying to make it cool and make it hip. I’m pretty sure they all were just like, yeah, this song isn’t it. So I think they just put music over and made it a montage, a slow-mo moment. So I was actually happy they didn’t put it in. I thought I sounded good but it was just like the words just didn’t fit with the vibe. It was off. But I tried it. I tried to work with the team, I’m only there for three days I’m not about to make a big complaint. So I just tried to roll with the punches.
The Knockturnal: Elaborate on that. What else would you have wanted more from your character?
Jacob Latimore: I think my character was really spot on. I really think it was just a fun role to play. I think the overall story had a much bigger message. I didn’t want to make my character stand out any more than it did. I felt like it was enough. It was so much going on with the film that I felt like I played my part. And that’s the reason I wanted to do something that I felt like it was cool. It was quick. And it was just a lot of fun. And most of the stuff I’ve done in my career, it’s been really heavy drama and just really deep projects. It was kind of cool to just be able to just come on set and laugh and have a good time for three days.
The Knockturnal: And to elaborate a little bit on that, how do you balance the dramatic with the comedic?
Jacob Latimore: I think it’s definitely difficult, I feel like to find those moments and to try to bring the laughter out of certain serious scenes that would usually be more serious or really just kind of try to talk to Lena [Waithe], talk to the director and just see how they want the tone of the scene to be because there’s so many different tones we can set for a scene. So I just try my best to take direction and they piece it together and everything comes together. Sometimes we would do a serious take and then we would do like a funny take and they’ll edit those two takes together. Now it has all these different levels in the scene. So it’s like man they took it there then I laughed and I cried and cried and I laughed. It’s a real art to it, which is why I love stepping into the challenge every time there is a complex scene.
The Knockturnal: So with this upcoming season of The Chi, what can we expect without giving too much away? What can we expect from the season coming up?
Jacob Latimore: I think what was totally different for me was the way we are shooting or the way we shot season three. I think that Season 3 is definitely going to be a really cool cinematic sort of approach to The Chi this season, there were some really dope push-ins. [Also] there were some really big one takes. I believe in one episode each scene is going to be huge one takes. So if anybody messed up on a line we had to start all the way back over. So it was like a play to me. The way we shot and the way we approach certain scenes is what made it a little more interesting. I feel the stories are just going to always keep growing because we’ve got so many stories to tell. We’re going to touch on a lot of things going on today. It’s going to be really relevant to a lot of the press and a lot of the stuff we’ve seen as far as girls going missing, kidnapping, and just a lot of violence and street stuff that is unnecessary and how politics is involved with the streets. We touched on a lot of that stuff.
The Knockturnal: And so my last question to you is what do you think is the overall message and the overall meaning of the movie Like a Boss.
Jacob Latimore: Like a Boss is truly stepping into who you are and what you want to be and the picture you want to paint. I think we as interviewers, as journalists, as artists, as networks, we have to start looking at ourselves as a brand. We’ve got to really start seeing ourselves as that. Our brand is something that lives on when we’re dead and gone. So we have to start really just being a boss, [and being] what you want people to perceive when you’re selling something, whether this is any form of art, journalism, a lawyer, whatever you want to do. I think it’s important to brand yourself. I feel like that’s what Like a Boss means to me.
The movie is now available on digital and hits Blu-Ray on April 21st.