Q&A: Kevin Hart & Will Ferrell Discuss New Film Get Hard And Jail Experience

Actors Kevin Hart and Will Farrell share the silver-screen for the first time in Warner Bros’ comedy, Get Hard. The Etan Cohen-directed film sees millionaire square James King (Ferrell) scrambling to get his affairs in order before doing a ten-year bid in San Quentin. Things start to get hilarious as he enlists a friendly Darnell Lewis (Hart) to toughen him up in preparation for a life behind bars. We had the chance to sit with both actors a few months back on set on the 39th day of shooting in New Orleans. Read on to see what they had to say.

What’s the closest either of you have actually been to jail?

Hart: I’ve been. (Directed at Farrell) You ain’t been you bitch (laughs).

Ferrell: I know (laughs). I’m literally trying to think of the closest. I think I was detained by campus police for a very frightening two hours for sneaking into a college basketball game when I was in high school… And you know college police are worse than regular police because nothing is going on, so they try to be extra tough with you.

Hart: I’ve been to jail three times. Not for anything good though, it was always parking tickets.

What attracted each of you to this role and the opportunity to work together?

Farrell: This was na idea our production company and Adam McKay came up with… I don’t know if everyone has had that daydream thought. What if I got that news I was going to prison? Would you flee the country? Would you try to prepare yourself physically? That checklist of going into this environment. We thought it would be funny to place a straight-lace guy from the financial world, who wasn’t street-smart, (and put them in that environment).

Hart: It wasn’t just your stereotypical white/black comedy. We wanted to push the envelop and address the stereotypes people think and don’t address (because they aren’t bold enough). What I like about it he assumes because I’m a man of color, he assumes I’ve been to jail. Naturally I’m offended, I’m a hard working man and now you assume I’m X, Y, and Z. I’m angry about, but I’m also in a situation where I need money (for my family)…

So now I get to fire back… I’m going to play into your ignorance by giving you want you want… He’s naive, but a nice guy. Everyone’s turned his back on him. So ultimately I’m all he’s got. The journey to that friendship and trying to make him a free man. It has that trading-places feel to it in a unique, modern way that I think our generation is going to love.

What’s your favorite memory from shooting?

Ferrell: I was amazed when we shot, for three days, in the 9th Ward. Kevin’s character takes me to visit his cousin Russell.

Hart: Played by T.I. who didn’t have to prepare much for this role (laughs). He knew about this life, which was good.

Ferrell: What was fantastic was all the people who came out from the neighborhood in support. (They) obviously love T.I. and Kevin and with me… “There’s Ricky Bobby.”

Get Hard hits theaters Friday, March 26.