What a great way to start the week. Not just Tiffany Haddish but Tiffany Haddish + Caity Weaver. Caity Weaver is exactly who should be writing a GQ profile on Tiffany Haddish. Before we get to Tiffany though, let’s take it back to February 2016, when Caity wrote about Justin Bieber for GQ, probably the definitive Justin Bieber profile up to this point. Because Caity wasn’t just writing about who JB was at the time, she was writing about what JB would or could become. She takes the same approach in this profile about Tiffany Haddish. We all know the year Tiffany has had and why she’s been so successful, quickly become so beloved. Caity certainly spends time understanding what’s in the secret sauce that’s made Tiffany a superstar but she also looks into how Tiffany can sustain it – and, potentially, what it will cost her.
As George Clooney has said before, fame can arrest development when it arrives. If you become famous when you’re 16, in some ways you’ll always be 16. If fame comes later, there’s a greater chance you may be able to handle it better, because you’re more prepared for it, because you’re closer to being a fully formed person.
This is where we find Tiffany Haddish who, over the last 9 months, has been given access to places she was previously denied. It’s how she’s using that access and what she’s saying about what that access has given her that sets her apart. Here she candidly tells Caity that much of her money goes to her family – paying for her mother’s caregiver, paying for food delivery services, paying to house her sister, supporting her grandmother after a series of health setbacks. These are her anchors. And that’s why her relationship to fame, or at least the way she presents it, may be different from other celebrities. Per Caity:
(Tiffany) has made herself aspirational not for her wealth but for her delight. Actors devote such effort to emphasizing the difficult aspects of their job that when Tiffany behaves in a way that suggests what the public has always believed—Being a movie star is fun!—is true, it feels like bold, suspicion-validating candor. People do not begrudge her success, because she visibly relishes it. (And if Haddish should ever discover that she's coming on a little too strong—too loud, too happy, too out of control—she's equipped for that, too. She turns on the calm voice she learned working in customer service for Alaska Airlines, shifts smoothly into a lower gear until equilibrium is restored.) The truth is that Haddish's work is just as demanding as her counterparts', and her counterparts enjoy at least as high a quality of life as Haddish. They're just emphasizing different aspects of the job.
Most celebrities are so consumed with validating why they’re celebrities, and often so insecure about making it in a cutthroat world, they think they have to keep justifying being there. Tiffany’s approach seems to be – well, I deserve to be here, and LOOK HOW MUCH I’M ENJOYING IT.
This is an astute distinction that Caity is making that comes with another observation built in – that both approaches can be exhausting in their own ways but that Tiffany, hopefully, seems to have built up the resources and the perspective to be able to navigate through whatever challenges are bound to come up.
Beyond that, the other thesis of this piece is that Tiffany is one of few so precisely herself at any given moment. It comes across in every story and every exchange in the article. You can hear her saying whatever it is that she’s saying. You can picture her face as she’s saying it. You can almost picture what the whales must look like when they know she’s shouting at them.
Click here to read the article at GQ. We’ll get to that other part later. For now, this is all about Tiffany.
Attached- Tiffany at a Target event on the weekend.