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Andie MacDowell and Mena Suvari on Beauty Shop

The Barbershop movies always focused on the barbers, and while spinoff Beauty Shop has plenty of hair stylists to make a movie, they let the customers get into it too. Mena Suvari and Andie MacDowell play Atlanta socialites who come to Gina (Queen Latifah)’s neighborhood salon for their hair needs and some friendly banter. Latifah was a major force in bringing such diverse talents together.

“I was out buying my daughter her first prom dress,” MacDowell recalled. “And they called me up and they said, ‘Can you leave in five days to go do a movie with Queen Latifah? It’s called Beauty Shop, very much like the Barbershop. It’s a small role but it looks like fun.’ I said, ‘Hold on. Girls, do you mind if I leave for three weeks to go make a movie with Queen Latifah?’ And they started screaming. So, that was it. So now I’m a little bit hip and cool. Little do they know that I play a stupid white woman. They’ll find out.”

Suvari added, “I had been a huge fan of the Barbershop films and was really excited they’re finally doing the female version. She just was wonderful. I remember going in and meeting Bille and then later coming back and meeting her and it was a little intimidating. I mean, she’s fabulous, but just so cool and just made the set so relaxed. She’s so supportive of everything that we did and was really just like we were all there together and just one of us. There was never any kind of hierarchy on the set.”

MacDowell’s character makes out of touch reference like “Janice Jackson” and cannot figure out that her husband is having an affair. Suvari’s character was compared to Paris Hilton by her costars.

“I could see that and I kind of mentioned that in one interview and she’s going to come kill me,” Suvari said. “She’s going to come after me now, send people after me, but she didn’t get the boob job. It’s not the same. But I guess the really long blonde hair is somewhat similar. I kind of wish Joanne had a little dog that she brought around everywhere. That would be kind of cool. But Joanne is like the stereotypical female ideal. Not that I agree with, but the super blonde big breasted… I mean, Joanne is just completely skewed. Her whole mentality is like, “Well, I’ve got to get these boobs” and it’s all about her just getting everybody’s attention, so I’ll just get it in that way as well.”

Though they receive fabulous ‘dos in the film, both actresses normally keep their hair simple. “I usually just walk around with really curly hair and I don’t have a problem with it to tell you the truth,” said MacDowell. “It’s fun to get dressed up and look like this and have someone do my hair and look more chic. I look much more chic today, darling. But normally, I have really curly hair and I just put the right kind of products in it to try to take the friz out. I do put a little bit of makeup on. I throw on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and I’m a happy girl.”

Suvari said she keeps her hair straight and “I don’t wear as much makeup. A little coverage here and there, maybe a little lip gloss, but my hair’s so straight it’s just like eh, wash it, blow dry it, that’s it. I don’t really do much. Maybe flip the ends a little."

As glamour icons themselves, the actresses are often called upon to share beauty advice. MacDowell’s is simple. “Stay out of the sun,” she said. “Wear sunblock.”

Suvari always remembers some maternal advice. “My mom is obsessed with aloe vera,” she said. “It’s all about aloe vera. Like first thing out of the shower, aloe vera, aloe vera. So I remember that was something that I took upon very young. I love to do it as natural as I can. I don’t try to pile it on. I feel like I get enough of that when I’m working or going to an event or something like that. So it’s just nice to be really fresh and clean and freshly washed face.”

The duo tries to keep their upkeep simple, but always seem to find themselves stuck in salons for hours undergoing maintenance. “No matter how much I try to get out of there quicker, I just always end up being there for a long part of the day,” Suvari said. “Especially when I was blonde, my god, I’d have to go every two weeks and it was just like the color and the toner and then washing and just crazy. So there were many times where I’d bring things to read or things to do and we’d just never get past that because I would always just be talking with my stylist about like everything, about her baby and what we’re going to do and all kinds of stuff. I’m just there for a long part of the day. I just have to book that whole day out if it’s a salon.”

MacDowell added, “I don’t have that much patience. I‘m one of those people if they can do my hands and my feet at the same time and get me out faster, I’d be a happier person. I’m not a real ‘sit sit’ kind of person. I’ve got three kids. I always feel like I’ve got to do something. Taking the time to relax, I have to make myself relax. Except for a massage. That, I will do for as long as the person wants to stand there and rub me. That I’ll do forever.”

Catch Andie MacDowell and Mena Suvari in Beauty Shop.

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