Nicki Minaj Refused to Twerk in ‘Barbershop 3’ + Wants More Respect

In a recent interview with Nylon Magazine, Nicki reveals she had to turn down a twerking scene because she wants to be taken seriously.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

In Barbershop: The Next Cut, Minaj plays the character of Draya, a sensual young party girl who does weaves in the neighborhood beauty shop that has merged with the barbershop to save on rent in a gentrifying Southside Chicago. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, it’s the best in the Barbershop/Beauty Shop series, both characteristically funny and sensitive while also tackling the dire murder rate afflicting young men in the city. As Draya, she portrays the femme fatale archetype but also explodes such stereotypes by monologuing in defense of a nuanced feminism that rings welcome, true, and heartfelt. “I wanted there to be a little bit of depth to Draya,” says Minaj. “I didn’t want her just to be, you know, an Instagram thot; I wanted her to have some sort of purpose and meaning.”

Going into the picture, she says, was intimidating at first. Barbershop’s great ensemble cast, including fellow rappers Ice Cube, Eve, and Common, had been working together since 2002, and it was only her second scripted film role, after playing Cameron Diaz’s personal assistant in the 2014 rom-com The Other Woman. In that movie she was a luminous scene-stealer administering romantic advice; here, she’s a little more matter-of-fact, but is given the space and character complexity to let her acting talents shine. She loosened up, she says, when Barbershop vets Cube and Cedric the Entertainer pulled her aside to let her know the cast had her back, and that she didn’t have to do anything in the script that made her uncomfortable—including a scene that required her to twerk, which she declined, because “not every s*xy woman is out here twerking all damn day,” she says with a laugh.

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  1. Now why would they even try to get her to twerk anyway? It doesn’t even fit with the plot I’m sure.

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