Tiffany Haddish, Jamie Lee Curtis on combination of comedy and grief in ‘Haunted Mansion’ film

Written by on August 8, 2023

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TheGrio conducted this interview before the SAG-AFTRA strike went into effect on July 14.

A new “Haunted Mansion” is here! Tiffany Haddish and Jamie Lee Curtis star in the brand new film based on the Disney Parks attraction of the same name, and theGrio caught up with the two to break down the film and what drew them to the spooky and heartfelt project.

2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ – Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - Day 2
Tiffany Haddish speaks onstage July 1 at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. She is among the stars of “Haunted Mansion,” in theaters now, and talked to theGrio about the project. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence)

As theGrio previously reported, the new film from director Justin Simien (“Dear White People”) stars LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, Danny DeVito, and Owen Wilson alongside Haddish and Curtis. The spooky ghost story sees a group of people come together to help a mother and child who are dealing with a haunted mansion in New Orleans.

Haddish plays Harriet, a psychic brought to the mansion to help rid it of spirits. Recalling working on set with the bevy of comedic talent in the cast, Haddish explained, “It was fun to play with Rosario with some improv, she’s really good at it and LaKeith was pretty good. The best though, was Danny (DeVito).”

“It was so much fun working with him,” she added. “We just had a really great time.”

While the film has its comedic moments, the story is imbued with themes of loss and trauma, with plenty of entry points for audiences to connect. Speaking to these aspects, Curtis, who stars as Madame Leota, told us, “It is an artistic interpretation of the Haunted Mansion ride. It is a story about a lot of loss and grief, which is what ghosts are and the effect that that has on people.”

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“It’s about grief and not letting grief pull you back, but moving past it,” Haddish told us. “Every character in the movie is dealing with some sort of loss.”

When Curtis called this a “human” experience, Haddish quipped, “If you haven’t experienced loss I think you are not a human! You’re an alien!”

“Haunted Mansion” is in theaters now.

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