Girls Trip, starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Hadish is about a group of lifelong friends (“The Flossy Posse”) who haven’t hung out in years and decide to get their groove back and head to the Essence Festival in New Orleans for a wild trip.
A major highlight of the shoot was when the crew stumbled upon the idea of flying above the streets. The idea for a Zipline to be in Girls Trip came from producer Will Packer. “Somebody in my office was telling me that in real life in Las Vegas a guy went on the Zipline and urinated on the crowd intentionally, and got arrested for doing it. That is a heinous and horrible act. He meant to do it, and that’s a terrible story.” The producer pauses. “Of course…when I heard it, I said, ‘That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day and that would be great in a movie! We’ve got to do that quickly before somebody else does.’”
Not ones to waste time, director/producer Malcolm D. Lee and Packer created a scene where the women are hanging out on Bourbon Street having their share of drinks. “They see the actual Zipline,” shares Packer. “Later, we find our inebriated crew up on the Zipline going across the middle of the French Quarter, right across Bourbon Street. The scene is everything that we thought it would be. We talked about it at the beginning and wondered if our actresses would be down to do this. You come up with all these crazy ideas, but you’ve still got to find talent who’s willing to do some of the silliest things that you could think of.”
Smith was the focal actress in the scene, and she was braver than most would be in the same situation … and game for the challenge. “I always thought Ziplining was something fun to do and a perfect idea to have on Bourbon Street. A great setup for something wild and crazy. So, it didn’t take any convincing at all, and I knew it would be a lot of fun,” says the performer.
However, shooting the Zipline scene was quite challenging. Packer explains: “We had to shut down Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street is never shut down –– 24 hours a day and seven days a week for 365 days a year it is packed with drunk people partying, having fun. We had to rig a massive Zipline to go across, and we had to attach to the existing structures and make sure that we had our stunt performers go across to test the weight. Once everything was there, we tested it, made sure it was safe and we let it rip!”
Girls Trip is available beginning Oct. 17 On Demand. Check with your cable provider for system availability.