What Men Want is a new comedy starring Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Hidden Figures) as a sports agent who gains the ability to hear men's thoughts. Produced by Will Packer (Girl's Trip) and directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), the film sees Henson's character, Ali, use her new found ability to get ahead at her super competitive agency.
When Screen Rant visited the Atlanta set of What Men Want earlier this year, Max Greenfield was taking part in a scene where his character, Kevin, a fellow sports agent, informs Ali that the eccentric father of her newest client - Tracy Morgan's Joe Dolla - is at any minute about to hold an unexpected press conference. Joe Dolla is just one of many men who stand as obstacles to Ali in her role as the agent for a promising NBA talent, but as Greenfield explained, not all of the men in the movie are Ali's enemy.
I like the role because there are certain agents, like, it's not all of the agents who are the enemy in this movie, and not all of the men are the enemy in this movie. And it's nice to be on the other side of that.
So is your character one of the good guys?
I think what I like about the role - and about the movie in general - is that you have some of these men that are flawed but are still very much on Ali’s side and I think that's definitely a character that I play in the film.
What is it like working with Taraji?
She's great. She's really is so good. And she's such a great leader and like a perfect number one on a movie and she was probably the biggest draw to say yes to doing this movie. Having seen the first one and then reading the script to this - is it a sequel? Having read the re-imagining, you say to yourself, ‘Oh I know exactly what this is going to look like knowing Taraji's work.’ And you think to yourself, ‘Oh this is a movie that I'm certainly going to do based on that.’ When you cast Taraji, it's funny, you go, ‘Oh, I can't imagine anyone else playing the role.’ And then you get there and you're like, ‘Yeah, this is a movie she was supposed to do.’
I liked something you said earlier: men not being the enemy. And I think that is something that is very relevant right now in our culture. Was that something that Drew you to playing this character?
Totally. I mean, there is a version, especially now, that you could have written of this movie where every man is the worst person on the planet and you'd have been like, ‘Yeah, that's right. That's right. That's perfect.’ But there's some nuance to the film and there's some nuance between some of the characters, and some of them have a lot to learn in certain areas but are not necessarily an enemy to Taraji and women in general. So I think there's levels to it all and I think they found a nice balance in this movie.
Other actors have talked about getting to do some physical comedy, do you get a chance to get it on any of that?
Are you sad about that? You sound a little sad.
I mean, a little, yeah, there's no real--I think that's also why I took the role, because I'm tired. I have two kids and the physical comedy, honestly, at this point is a lot of work. And I'm also nervous I'm going to get hurt.
You also just finished playing Schmidt (on New Girl). Did you want to depart from that role by playing this role?
Honestly, sort of, there's a lot Schmidt in this just in terms of where he works, what he looks like, the suits, the whole thing. It was not a big departure, but I also think that's why I somewhat liked it, because I thought, ‘Well I know how to do it this.’ And I think that it'd be good, it felt right. I understood why they wanted me to do it. I felt like I'd be representing that character well. There's definitely some similarities, but I think it's only the real obvious ones.
- What Men Want (2019) release date: Feb 08, 2019