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February 2004
Barbershop 2 : An Interview with Jazsmin Lewis

Barbershop 2: An Interview with Jazsmin Lewis

If you look at the poster for Barbershop 2: Back in Business, you will see that there's someone missing from the returning cast. That someone is Jazsmin Lewis. She played the wife of Ice Cube's character giving him some sound advice. As the other female returnee to the film, besides Eve, Jazsmin's character is there again to lend her support to her husband as he faces another crisis regarding his livelihood. In an interview with blackfilm.com, Jazsmin spoke about being part of a excellent cast.

WM: What's it like to come back for the sequel?

JL: It's an incredible experience because you don't have to start from scratch building a relationship with your cast members, you can just come back and pick up where you left off. It's very much like a family that you want to be in. You're also coming back to a character that your very familiar with because you've created it so it's a skin that you can just walk back into.

WM: What role do you play?

JL: I Play Jennifer Palmer, Calvin Palmer's (Ice Cube) wife. She is loving and supportive of her husband but definitely a strong independent woman.

WM: Were you able to capitalize on the success of the first film and land more Acting roles?

JL: I think I did capitalize on the success of Barbershop because it was such a huge success, however I don't know if I landed more roles completely as a result of it because I feel that whatever job is your, it's already yours. But I did very much raise my profile and name in Hollywood so I'm being seen by people that didn't know my name. They may have just known my work. Now they have the ability because of the success of Barbershop, to know my name along with the face.

WM: How do you feel being the only non-barber, besides Cedric's character, in the film?

JL: It was a good experience because I had the connection to the Barbershop because of my husband but I brought the home experience and relationship experience to the movie.

WM: What's like working with Ice Cube?

JL: It was very comfortable working with Ice Cube right away because he's a very giving actor. He's thinking about character at all times and that makes it easy to develop the characters relationships. Because we were paying a married couple and got along very well, it was easy to be his screen wife. He's very conscious of story as am I and always thinking about what will make it better. So he makes the person working opposite of him, very relaxed and he makes the environment easy.

WM: Were you able to bond with the rest of the cast?

JL: We all bonded very quickly and because a lot of us knew each other, we worked right into a family bond. We got to hang out, being out of town the whole time. And I had to rely very much on each other for company, so we came together very quickly.

WM: How challenging was it to get the role?

JL: It was one of the easier auditions that I had. I had two auditions and a character meeting with Ice Cube. After that is when I found out that I had the role. I could relate to this character completely so I didn't have to completely transform myself to become this character.

WM: Has it been a challenge to get role period.

JL: I've had my challenging moments in getting roles that people haven't seen me do, so they may not think I can become this person. I've had to prove myself a number of times when it's a character that I haven't been seen doing. I'm often competing with bigger names for a role so I have to contend with name value that is bigger than mine at times but if I'm right for the job, I'll often get it. That's when the proving that they made the right choice comes into play. Hollywood is also a business so, you have to prove that people want to come to the box office to see you. When your name value goes up, that process gets a little easier. But your always reminding Hollywood that your name has value.

WM: Are there more films or projects we expect to see you in?

JL: I currently play Jada Stubbins, wife of mobster Donavan Stubbins (Brian Goodman) in "Line of Fire." She is a Madame that runs the Brothel for Mobb boss Malloy (David Paymer). I have a few more films coming out this year. One is an independent called "The Beat" which is a hip hop drama about a 20 year old Biracial man that has to make several hard life decisions about what he wants to do in his career. I play his Biracial love interest that has to help him see some of the errors of his ways. Also, I'm in "Gettin the Man's foot outta your ass and other life Lessons" which is a movie about the life of Melvin Van Peebles, played by his son Mario Van Peebles. He was the independent black film maker pioneer and I play a prostitute that comes into his life and helps him come up with his first independent movie "Sweet Sweetback.'

WM: What advise would you say to any aspiring actress looking to get a role with a cast like this?

JL: I would tell other aspiring actress to make sure that they know that this is the career and life that they want and be prepared to work very hard and have the patience to allow it to pay off. I would tell them to be the best at their craft and not to take any rejections personally because this is not a personal business. They need to know the business as well as the art of this and to make sure that they love it! That is doesn't always happen quickly but to believe that it will happen and to be very prepared when it does.


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