Kevin Hart brings laughs, box-office cred to 'About Last Night'

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:05 PM ET

Lightning fast and loud-mouthed Philly standup comic Kevin Hart is 2014’s first box office king.

His buddy comedy, Ride Along, was at the top of the box office for three weeks, raking in over $100 million, until it was recently dethroned by The Lego Movie.

But Hart, 34, is now poised to follow up Ride Along’s success with About Last Night, a remake of the 1986 film starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore that was originally based on David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago.

“I don’t think ‘I did it,’ at this point because there’s still so much I haven’t done,” said Hart, whose first role was in Judd Apatow’s short-lived 2001 Fox-TV show, Undeclared, before his career in standup sold-out tours, specials (Laugh At My Pain) and movies like Think Like A Man.

“My goals are f---ing through the roof of what I want to accomplish. When you look at the comedians that have worked before me, and that have gotten to a certain level of success, they’ve done so much. From the (Richard) Pryors to the Eddie Murphys to the Chris Rocks. I mean, literally this list goes on and on. George Carlin. (Jerry) Seinfeld. People that have started out in comedy, Bill Cosby, that are now on these pedestals. ... For me, right now, when you think Kevin Hart, yes as a comedian I’ve achieved so much and I’ve done so much. As an actor, I need to do just as a much. .... Where can I eventually get to as a brand?”

In About Last Night, directed by Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) with a location change from Chicago to downtown L.A, Hart and Regina Hall give as good as they get as the squabbling yet passionate lovers played by Jim Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins in the original film.

Their often outrageous sex scenes weren’t uncomfortable, insists Hart.

“You can’t be awkward or uncomfortable around me, I’m too open,” he told reporters. “And if you are uncomfortable I’m going to make you comfortable very fast. Laughing heals all wounds. At any discomfort, our laughter is what takes it away. When we first started our sex scene, I think I told Regina, ‘Alright Regina, I’m about to put this d--k on you so if you need to go get yourself together, okay, ‘cause we got to make this scene work. (She was like) ‘Shut up, Kevin, don’t play with me!’ (And I was like) ‘Just letting you know what’s coming in. I’m coming in hot! Okay?’ And instantly we’re laughing and we’re joking and then when you do the scene, you’re not even thinking about it. Because now we’re working and you respect as an actor and actress and as long you keep that professionalism, you’ll be okay. ... And it was tough for her. I’m a sexy son of bitch!”

Their scenes seem largely improvised and Hart said he was given a lot of freedom by Pink.

“I think it’s impossible to hire me and not use me,” said Hart, who has made a half-dozen films with Hall since Scary Movie 3. “I think you cheat yourself if you don’t allow me to bring anything to the table. And hiring ‘Kevin Hart,’ not to talk in the third person, the ability to improv comes with that. Not to disrespect the material on page but just to elevate it. We do takes where you get what you want, then I do takes that let me play and when you have somebody that can improve just as good as you, being Regina Hall, you have to make magic of that world. ... Not only are we great on film but off-camera our chemistry is amazing. We just click. We get along.”

Hart and Hall’s characters are also the best friends to Michael Ealy (Almost Human) and Joy Bryant (Parenthood), who are playing the original Lowe and Moore couple, navigating the bumpy transition from a one-night stand that keeps repeating itself to living together.

“In this film, playing this particular couple, Regina and myself probably both have experience with being in this type of relationship,” said Hart, who is a divorced father of two. “The reason why this relationship was so refreshing to do and to mimic is because it’s real. ... It’s crazy as hell, but for some people it works.”

Twitter: @JaneCStevenson

Jane.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

 


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