If you’re expecting Kevin Hart’s new movie Fatherhood to be the typical slapstick comedy that pokes fun at men’s inability to take care of their child on their own, you’d be wrong. I’d also wager you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how Netflix adapted the 2011 memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love for their streaming platform, with an all-Black cast of dark-brown hues no less.
“This is a beautiful chocolate movie,” says Lil Rel who plays Jordan, a friend of Matthew Logelin (Kevin Hart) who helps him navigate life as a single father after his wife dies unexpectedly. “We don’t see that all the time to be honest with you and that’s one of the things I love when I see images from the film or I’m watching the trailer, I just—the melanin is just popping all off the screen.”
Along with the visibility of darker-skinned actors comes the power of each of their performances, adds Dewanada Wise, who plays a love interest for Matthew down the line. “This cast is stacked,” she says. “We all just put the support in supporting.”
Drawing a parallel between the images seen on screen and the larger message of the film, Wise adds, “That is the Black community. We show up, we support each other. This is a man who’s lost his wife and everyone just rallies around him. Alfre Woodard’s character, even in her own grief, you know that her protection is coming from a place of love and that’s who are.”
Check out our full interview with Wise and Lil Rel in the video above. Fatherhood streams on Netflix beginning Friday, June 18.