Ice Cube: When you’ve seen things kind of not change as fast you would like them to, you know that people are going through the same thing. When we did Straight Outta Compton, we knew that people had the same anxieties and issues, and you had the same kind of climate going on. That’s the reason that movie worked but that’s also a shame that things don’t progress. It’s the same with this movie. We could have done it two years ago. It’s like the communities are not changing as fast as we’d like, so that’s why these movies seem timely. It’s not like we’re super-smart, we’re just highlighting what is a constant in the community.

Anthony Anderson: The “ha-ha” is always good in getting across your message. You don’t want to be too preachy. It’s always better to feed someone the message or whatever it is you’re trying to get across with a teaspoon of sugar than with a teaspoon of salt. And we have to laugh to keep from crying at times. Providing that laughter cracks that nut and allows us to laugh at ourselves, laugh at the situation, and we can talk about it and address it. That’s the key to starting any discussion. Not to make light of it or make fun of it, but how can we find that silver lining around the tragedy that we’re dealing with. We have to find that levity in it in order for it to be palatable and digested by the masses.

ice cube and michael rainey jr. star in barbershop the next cut on april 15
Michael Rainey Jr. and Ice Cube share a dramatic moment in Barbershop: The Next Cut.

Ice Cube: My generation really has to step up and reach back and guide some of the youth that’s out there. We still feel young and feel like we’re the youth [laughs], but I think at a certain point you gotta take responsibility, understand what you are and that you can make a difference. You have to turn on yourself before you can take that first step to help somebody else. It’s a situation where a lot of people want to change the evil in the world, but don’t want to change the evil inside. That’s where you start first.

Rated PG-13, Barbershop: The Next Cut arrives in theaters on April 15.

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