He’s been known by several names, but by 2017, by the time Girls Trip hit theaters, Sean Combs had settled on Diddy, which now remains his stage name regardless of his driver’s license. The film was primarily shot at the Essence Fest, an annual party in New Orleans aimed at promoting African-American culture and black women in particular, which the filmmakers felt resonated with the film’s central theme. There are several cameos in the film from cast members including Common, MC Lyte, New Edition and Mariah Carey, but only Diddy’s enhanced the character portrayal of Dina, played by Tiffany Haddish, the film’s “motor mouthpiece of mass dysfunction.”
Dina is introduced early on as the wild card of this group of friends (a circle that’s completed by actors Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, and Jada Pinkett Smith). She refuses to be fired. She informs Lisa (Pinkett Smith) that she used her “booty hole” to smuggle drugs through airport security. Her characterization is clear, but these are closed environments where Dina is undoubtedly at ease with her surroundings, colleagues and friends. Even as she arranges for them to be kicked out of the legendary Hotel Monteleone, she single-mindedly focuses on her friend’s (Mike Colter) cheating husband without being aware of anything or anyone else. But on a huge performance stage, in front of thousands, Dina still walks the aisle. The scene was only planned far enough in advance for Diddy to invite Dina onto the stage, but the rest was mostly improvised, and while Diddy’s goggle on his sunglasses is hilarious, the fact that he literally embodies Dina’s spontaneous and uninhibited character is a stage takes it to the next level that makes the performance truly unforgettable, with one of the best female ensembles of all time.
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