Taye Diggs Talks The Best Man Holiday

...and how to be funny when you're naked

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Universal Pictures

More than a decade after 1999’s The Best Man, Diggs, 42, is back in the sequel—The Best Man Holiday, out Nov. 15—as Harper Stewart, a writer trying to save his career and his friendships, all during one epic Christmas weekend.

(MORERichard Corliss’ 1999 review of The Best Man)

TIME: What’s it like to play an old character after almost 15 years?

DIGGS: It was kind of like riding a bike or, as cliché as it may sound, putting on an old pair of jeans. Even though it’s been 15 years,  my life personally has changed. That leant itself to my performance.

Had you thought much about Harper in the years between?

Absolutely not. It was a trip. On the first day of shooting, it was like nothing. It was all right there at my fingertips.

Was there a moment you knew it was coming back to you?

That first day of shooting. The first day was a scene with me and Nia [Long]. Once we got into wardrobe and were on the set it was almost magical. It was like we just picked up where we left off.

Does your own family have any fun holiday traditions?

I have a 4-year-old, so now it’s become about him. Letting him open one present on Christmas eve is always fun to witness. I’m smiling just thinking about it.

A lot of the movie takes place in one house…

It was a mansion, to say the least.

Any cool rooms that didn’t make it into the movie?

So many cool rooms! There was a crazy sauna. It was endless.

Did you all hang there—the house, not the sauna—in your downtime?

Absolutely. there were viewing parties of The View. We’d all get some wine and just watch. For some reason The View plays like five times a day on eight different channels in Toronto [where we shot]. Toronto is a great city, really diverse, crazy good food. So we went out dancing, eating. We’re a tight cast so it was great to hang out and get to know everybody again.

You have a great lip-syncing and dancing scene. It’s not exactly karaoke, but do you have a go-to karaoke song?

My go-to karaoke song is “It Had to Be You.” I’m trying to expand my karaoke vocabulary. I have a lower voice so a lot of songs are a little too out of my range.

There’s a lot of football talk in the movie. Are you a fan in real life?

On a very surface level. I’m not one of these cats who can recite the stats.

Who’s your team?

I know some people will hate this, but the Jets and the Giants. I’m rooting for New York.

So you also like the Yankees and the Mets?

Not as much.

You were on a recent episode of New Girl without much of a costume. Is it hard to be funny when you’re naked?

No, it’s easier. You already feel awkward, so you just lean into it.

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