"I was really looking to do a movie about a relationship between an older man and a younger woman that was about friendship and love, but not in a romantic way," Billy Crystal tells PEOPLE

By Alexia Fernández
April 22, 2021 09:00 AM
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Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish's team-up is the unexpected friendship of Hollywood!

In a PEOPLE exclusive look at the first trailer for the new film Here Today, Crystal and Haddish form an unlikely, hilarious and touching friendship that redefines the meaning of love and trust. 

Crystal, 73, plays veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz who meets New York singer Emma Payge (Haddish, 41), only to find himself learning something new from the free-spirited vocalist.

"I was really looking to do a movie about a relationship between an older man and a younger woman that was about friendship and love, but not in a romantic way," Crystal tells PEOPLE of the movie, which he also directed. "It was an interesting place to start a story. When I heard that, I said, 'Oh, this is how they meet.'"

The comedian and former Oscars host says Haddish was "great to act with, and a joy to direct."

"When she said to me, 'Just tell me what you want. Help me get to where Emma needs to go. I totally trust you,' I knew she would be great," he adds. 

here today movie
Tiffany Haddish and Billy Crystal in Here Today
| Credit: Sony Pictures

And while their styles and humor "are different," Crystal found their difference played "wonderfully against each other."

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"Throughout my career, I've been blessed with terrific partners in acting. Tiffany and I celebrated our differences and I'm a good counter puncher," he says. "When I act with her, I love to be able to react. That's where I can be effective in giving her the space she needs to be who she is and maintaining my own."

here today movie
Here Today movie poster
| Credit: Sony pictures

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The movie was also co-written by Crystal and his good friend, original Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel. It's based on a short story, The Prize, also written by Zweibel. 

The cast also includes Penn Badgley, Laura Benanti, Louisa Krause, Anna Deavere Smith and Nyambi Nyambi.

Here Today is in theaters on May 7.