Audiences have been anticipating the sequel to the hit 2012 comedy Think Like a Man for the past two years, and now the wait is finally over. Think Like a Man Too hits theaters on June 20, bringing back the original cast plus a few new faces and — of course — some surprise cameos. While we can expect the same shenanigans and relationship drama in the sequel that made the original film such a huge success, there are two big differences to the story this time around: first, the setting moves from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, meaning way more opportunities for trouble. And second, the girls are banding together to square off against the boys this time.
We paid a visit to the Think Like a Man Too set at the opulent Caesar's Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas last summer to get the inside scoop on what to expect for round two, which will center around a joint bachelor/bachelorette party for the characters of Terrence J and Regina Hall. From what we saw, it's going to be an even wilder ride than we remember.
"We started talking about [a sequel] pretty soon after we had a cut of the first movie," said director Tim Story while taking a breaking from filming in one of Caesar's Palace's lavish pool villas. "We thought to take this group that everyone has fallen in love with and take them on another adventure...it seemed wrong to not explore it."
The ensemble cast from the original film were quick to get on board, despite the fact that each of the stars exploded in the years since Think Like a Man came out. "At the time we made the first one, I had never had more fun or sex during the making of a movie, so that was enough for me to come back," shared Michael Ealy, who plays sensitive chef Dominic in the film. Jokes Regina Hall, "I was disappointed that Kevin Hart came back. I thought he was, for sure, going to be written out. Tim [Story] and Will [Packer, the producer] assured me. But he did come back, and we're trying to make it work. It's been hard."
Adds Taraji P. Henson, who plays the career-obsessed Lauren, "I was a little nervous, to be honest. I've seen a lot of part twos flop. Sometimes when it's so good, you should leave it alone. But I just feel like this one could be possibly better than the first one."
As is clear to anyone who has seen Think Like a Man, chemistry is the most important component in making the film work. In the first film, it was all about the bromance between Hart, Ealy, Terrence J, Gary Owen, Jerry Ferrara and Romany Malco. In the sequel, however, it's the ladies' turn to shine.
"With this one, you actually get a chance to see the women interact within a group and do the same thing that the men were doing in part one," explains Hart. Gabrielle Union, whose character Kristen is newly-married in the sequel, says that the friendship among the girls was as strong off-camera as on. "During the downtime between takes, we don't just scurry off to our trailers," she says. "We hang with each other. You're watching friendships blossoming, but it's all happening organically."
The cast has unanimous praise for their director Tim Story, who launched another hit franchise with Ride Along since TLAM's debut. "It's very rare that you get a director that lets you be creative and bring what you feel your character should be or do," says Hart, who also starred in Ride Along. "[Tim] allows us to have that input, and that's why the material comes out so much better than what you expect it to be."
Needless to say, the anticipation is sky-high for Think Like a Man Too, and from what we saw on the set in Las Vegas, the sequel will not disappoint. The film hits theaters nationwide on June 20.
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