Billy Porter had no problem sharing the screen with an iconic and comedic lineup of women for his latest film Like a Boss. The Pose star joins Salma Hayek, Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne in the film about friendship and the high stakes world of beauty. “Just look at all these women. Every single one of us is a boss, and it was so great to work with people who are fully inside of themselves,” the 50-year-old, who plays a chemist for the beauty company, tells HOLA! USA. “There’s no faking, there’s no hiding. Everything is laid bare and you know exactly what you’re getting. It’s lovely.”
Keep scrolling to find out the secret to the cast’s unbreakable dynamic, who’s the best cook and what being a boss really means to Billy.
HOLA! USA: What’s your definition of a boss?
Billy Porter: “You know I have learned through my own experience that boss behavior comes when one knows who one is. When you know who you are, and you can stand firmly in that authenticity and then make decisions based on that. No matter what people think or say or how it turns out. That’s boss.”
From Salma’s prosthetic teeth to Rose’s dancing on top of Tiffany’s comedic genius, how great was the comedy on set?
“These are comedic titans. I’ve been watching Jennifer Coolidge for decades and stealing from her for decades. It was just masters.”
One of the funniest scenes was when your character (Barrett) was fired by Tiffany and Rose’s characters. Were there multiple takes when filming that scene? Did anyone break character?
“It wasn’t a lot of takes! You know I think they turned the camera around me, and we just did it three times for safety. That’s the thing, when it’s right, it doesn’t take a lot of effort. We’re being authentic, we weren’t trying to be anything else, so you just saddle up to that table and just be present and respond. Listen and receive and respond and that’s what we did. And I’m so glad it’s being received in this way!”
The scene was also a lesson in friendship and tough love. How do you approach those situations in your real life?
“Always love, but you have to tell the truth. It’s hard sometimes. You just have to remember the love part. You’re not trying to take somebody down, you’re trying to illuminate. It’s hard. To be on the giving side of that and the receiving side. You have to be open to that.”
Did having a dynamic with the women off-screen to make the on-screen experience authentic?
“It didn’t start that way because we came and went to work before we ever hung out. Tiffany would have potluck dinners at her house every Sunday, but I started working on Tuesday. We didn’t really have a hangout until the following Sunday. My first scene was that firing scene, so you come onto the set, and this is the most important one for my character. That was my first day shooting and that was the first thing that we were doing. To get that kind of respect was useful and helpful.”
What were those Sunday dinners like? Is there someone whose cooking surprised you?
“It was just fun. We would play games, drink, smoke, eat, listen to music, watch a little TV and just laugh, laugh, laugh. Lots of laughs. Tiffany can cook. She is the fiercest of cooks. She’s amazing.”
What message do you hope readers take from the hilariously empowering film?
“Women should be running everything! Men have been doing it for hundreds of years, and they ain’t done a thing but mess it up. It’s time to let the women do it. That’s what I say.”
Like a Boss hits theaters January 10.