Eric André, Lil Rel Howery and Tiffany Haddish brought their raucous Netflix comedy “Bad Trip” to an even wilder ending: a real-life homage to the cult classic comedy “White Chicks.”
The conclusion of the unscripted comedy features “Bad Trip” characters Chris and Bud (André and Howery) celebrating the end of their road trip by crashing a festive event in “White Chicks” attire – the same disguise utilized by Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who played undercover federal agents pretending to be white women in the 2004 comedy.
“White Chicks” is a running joke between Bud and Chris in the movie and the ending brings their fascination to a new level. Haddish (as Bud’s sister Trina) joins the duo at the party as a mustached, suit-wearing man.
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“That was just fun,” André says of the scenes in which he and Howery pulled “Borat”-style undercover antics at a faux fundraiser. “There’s pressure to get gold in every ‘Bad Trip’ scene. But the greatest laughs in that scene are just our reveals as the ‘White Chicks.’ “
The scene was laborious, requiring extensive prosthetic work – with custom silicone pieces made from molds of their faces strategically attached before each star was meticulously made up to look more natural.
‘It’s an art form, special effects makeup,” says André. “But it was tedious, the gluing and the painting and the wigs. It takes a long time.”
“It was so hard to shoot,” says director Kitao Sakurai. “There were like eight makeup artists working on everyone for eight hours.”
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Once disguised, Chris and Bud made their entrance and interacted, sometimes provocatively, with the real revelers, before finding Trina was also at the party in disguise – all with hidden cameras capturing the action.
The scene had to be shot twice. The first attempt was in Atlanta early in the shoot with just Howery and André. He admits the duo might have been a little too aggressive in the prank.
“The first one went south and we (angered) the people so bad,” says André, noting the party attendees refused to sign release forms to let the filmmakers use the scenes. “They were furious.”
“And that was a huge expense,” says Sakurai.
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The actors tried again, this time in Los Angeles at the end of the shoot, toning down their act slightly and adding Haddish. Partygoers were summoned from a phony organization the filmmakers created (with a fake backstory) to a sham third annual gala to battle climate change.
“Under this pretext, we invited people to this very fancy schmancy thing with free food and drink,” says Sakurai. “We used that guise to get everybody into that space.”
During the second attempt, André, Howery and Haddish connected with unsuspecting guests in their “White Chicks” attire, talking about yoga and podcasts, before taking over the DJ stand, cueing up DMX’s “Party Up” and dancing.
“That was the very last thing we shot for the movie,” says André, who got the stunt right the second time. “I just knew to have fun, interact with people and say absurd things before getting onstage and dance and rap. It was kind of a victory lap for the movie.”