Entertainment Movies Why Has 'Girls Trip 2' Taken So Long? Blame the COVID Pandemic, Says Regina Hall "So then, when you lock in the time — when you're like, 'Oh, we can do it now' — a pandemic comes," Hall recalls to PEOPLE By Nigel Smith and Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Website Jen Juneau is a News and Movies Staff Writer at PEOPLE. She started at the brand in 2016 and has more than 15 years' professional writing experience. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 22, 2023 11:26 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish and Regina Hall in Girls Trip (2017). Photo: Short/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock Regina Hall is just as ready for Girls Trip 2 as the fans! In an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE surrounding her partnership with Jameson Irish Whiskey ahead of St. Patrick's Day, the 52-year-old actress says the long-awaited sequel to 2017's Girls Trip was first delayed because the cast and crew were "busy." "So then, when you lock in the time — when you're like, 'Oh, we can do it now' — a pandemic comes. And then it's like, 'Well, we've got to wait,' " she continues, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. Hall says that "people were really waiting for things to calm down" before the pandemic hit, and do the sequel "if it made sense." "Because that whole film is about friendship and celebration," she adds of the hit comedy, which costarred Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith as four college friends who travel to New Orleans for Essence Music Festival to bond once more, years after graduation. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Queen Latifah in Girls Trip (2017). Universal Pictures/Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock Regina Hall Says Girls Trip 2 Is "Going to Be Fun": "I'm Excited to See the Girls Again" Hall also says that she "found out in real-time with everyone else" that the upcoming sequel will take place in Ghana, as co-screenwriter Tracy Oliver told Variety at the Sundance Film Festival in January. "So I'm assuming that that's going to be fun," the actress says. "I'm excited to see the girls again and to make something hopefully that the fans love." "I think the biggest thing is we had so much fun making the first one, and I just look forward to just having that kind of fun again and that audiences will hopefully love it as well," she adds. Of the complications thrown their way by COVID-19, Hall says, "You can't have a film that interactive in the middle of a pandemic. It's about being out and about. So I think that kind of changed it too." Regina Hall for Jameson Irish Whiskey. Jameson Regina Hall Wants Her Fans to Take St. Patrick's Day Off with Help from a Jameson "Desk Decoy" Girls Trip producer Will Packer first announced that a sequel to the film was "underway" during a January 2022 appearance on Good Morning America. "Can't we all use a post-pandemic trip, my friend? I think that the time is actually right, and this is something that I will tell you and break right now at GMA: the Girls Trip 2 sequel, we are underway," Packer, 48, told host Michael Strahan during the broadcast at the time. "We are absolutely in the stages, the ladies are in, I just talked to the director," he added. Oliver also confirmed to Variety in January that Girls Trip 2 will feature the characters at Ghana's annual Afrochella music festival.