At first glance, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are polar opposites. But their movie Get Hard (March 27) may be the start of a beautiful bromance.
ESSENCE: What drew you both to Get Hard?
WILL FERRELL: [Producer] Adam McKay thought that that moment someone finds out they have to go to prison would be a funny movie. When we started thinking about who would be great to pair up with, Kevin’s name was the first one.
KEVIN HART: I have been a fan of Will’s for so long. The way things are going in my career, I felt that the timing couldn’t be more perfect to team up with a guy as established as Will.
FERRELL: Now the roles are reversed. I’m lucky to be in a Kevin Hart movie.
ESSENCE: Why did you want to work with Kevin?
FERRELL: Kevin’s comedy is so accessible. He represents the everyman—when you hear Kevin do stand-up, you’re so comfortable listening to him because it’s like, Oh, my God, I can relate to this guy. I think that we share the same generosity. More than making people laugh, I like laughing myself. Kevin’s the same way. It’s almost more fun to make each other laugh.
ESSENCE: You guys had so much chemistry in the film, but you weren’t homies before...
HART: [Turns to Will] “Homies” is basically another word for friends.
ESSENCE: Did it take time for it to develop?
HART: There was no prep. We got together the week before and we read through the script. There wasn’t a rehearsal....
FERRELL: We just kind of hit the ground running.
ESSENCE: There are a lot of provocative scenes in the movie, like when Will’s in the bathroom at the gay bar. You’re on social media and you know how people get. Did that enter your mind while filming?
HART: If everybody had something good to say, then that means there is no such thing as a conversation. All conversations can’t be about happy stuff. There’s got to be a debating point. At the end of the day, our job is to make sure we do our best to make this material great. Critics are going to be critics.
ESSENCE: Out of all the crazy scenes, do you have a favorite?
HART: The prison yard was funny. That was improv.
FERRELL: That was just Kevin going the whole time, and I was trying to react to all the different characters....
HART: I was sick that day.
FERRELL: You were sick as a dog, but you’d never know it.
ESSENCE: There’s been a long history of Black/White buddy films. What sets this one apart?
HART: I don’t think you compare it. We want to be remembered as a pairing that was hilarious together. The goal is for two guys who are respected on a comedic level to make people think, I like seeing them together.
FERRELL: We’re in a time right now, racially, in our country, that in terms of some of the strife that has gone on, this is kind of the most absurd, dirtiest movie. We’re making fun of all the stereotypes we all may have about each other.
ESSENCE: On The Tonight Show, you guys mentioned you learned a good deal about each other’s cultures while you were filming this movie. What kind of things? Did you go to Roscoe’s?
FERRELL: We had a lot of corned beef and cabbage.
HART: I taught you how to sag. I was tired of you wearing your pants on your waist. Remember that? I got mad about that. You let them pants fall off your ass!
This article was originally published in the April 2015 issue of ESSENCE Magazine.