Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart connect for Get Hard, the upcoming movie from Warner Bros. The two comedic geniuses debuted the film down in Austin, Texas during the SXSW Film and Music festival, and GlobalGrind was on hand to check it out.
Early reviews of the film have people thinking it’s a little racist, while others seem to think it pokes fun at the stereotypes we place upon ourselves. We saw the film – which follows Kevin’s character as he tries to prepare Will’s white collar criminal for his impending stint in jail – and while the movie is funny, it will definitely leave you feeling some type of way.
I got the chance to speak to Kevin and Will while they were down in Austin, and they opened up about some of the racial jokes, saying they didn’t anticipate the backlash.
Check out our Q&A below.
How much fun was it working on this film?
Will Ferrell: “It was as much fun as it looked.”
Kevin Hart: “We had a great time and I don’t think you can put it into words. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like you’re working.”
How is it playing so many different characters?
KH: “At this point, it’s just fun. I’m getting to do something that I’ve always wanted to do and I’m getting to do it in great company. The people I’ve been able to work with have allowed me to raise my game. I’m not only learning, but I’m growing. Getting to work with Will has allowed me to work a little more. It was good to have someone great to react from. It was dope.”
The movie got a lot of backlash about some of the racial stereotypes. Did that make you guys nervous in any way?
WF: “I was incredibly nervous, but I’m a nervous person. I don’t leave my house a lot. You’re talking to two guys who, once we decide to go down a path, we are not ever going to look back. This was a great opportunity to make a really funny movie. Kevin and I are a great combination. At the same time, while you’re laughing in a very funny way, we get to poke some holes in the ideas that we have about each other.”
What did you think about Kevin?
WF: “I thought Kevin was a lot taller. I thought he was about 6’4, so I was shocked. I was shocked at his physical size, but then I was shocked at the size of his heart. Because he’s got a lot of heart. He has an enlarged heart.”
KH: “Will, that’s personal information.”
WF: “Kevin is the nicest guy that you’ll ever meet. It was fun to see that we both value showing up, having fun, and working hard. But we are very thankful of where we are in our career.”
Kevin, are you concerned this might affect your fan base, since a lot of African-Americans are considerably homophobic? [Ed. Note: The film features tons of homosexual innuendoes/jokes.]
KH: “I don’t think about that. That’s not something that I went into this film saying: ‘My god we can’t do it, so let’s not address and let’s not talk.’ I think everything we did in this film was done in a smart, unique way where the audience can simply laugh. Nothing was set out to intentionally hurt anyone or be malicious. So within the moments in this film when I’m suggesting that Will do certain things to survive in prison, that was just our way of addressing suggested stereotypes that are in prison.”
WF: “Those are the perceptions of what prison is like, plus that’s Kevin playing a character.”
KH: “Exactly so. For me on a personal side, it’s not even a concern. I think at the end of the day, my fan base will appreciate seeing me alongside Will Ferrell and I think the same thing for Will. We are giving people a different comedy, a refreshing comedy. I think we definitely pushed the envelope, but we did it in a way where people are going to walk away, not only laughing, but overall relating to the purpose of the film, which is to laugh at the stereotypes that we all set for ourselves.”
I think T.I.’s character embodies how you guys break those stereotypes. Can you talk about what T.I. brought to the story and the film?
WF: T.I. was fantastic. I’m glad that you recognized that even though he’s the leader of a gang, he’s a shrewd businessman. He gave that character life in a sense to where he was funny, yet it felt intimidating and brought to life the fact that we were in a very dangerous situation. He allowed Kevin’s character to play off of it as well.”
KH: And you’re looking at another character to where we did a flip, you don’t expect those characters to have the knowledge that they have.
Get Hard is in theaters everywhere on Friday.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty