Comedy stars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart team up for Get Hard
It was only a matter of time before US comedians Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart teamed up on the big screen.
Now, audiences will get to see the funnymen in action in their latest flick Get Hard, which opens here tomorrow.
Ferrell plays millionaire hedge fund manager James King, who is convicted for fraud and has 30 days to get his affairs in order before he is sent to jail.
Desperate, he turns to Darnell (Hart) to prepare him for a life behind bars.
At first, James is full of stereotypical assumptions about Darnell, an African-American businessman who has never been in trouble with the law.
Together, the duo do whatever it takes for James to "get hard" and, in the process, discover how wrong they were about judging each other.
Although their brand of comedy is totally different, Get Hard blends their skills perfectly, resulting in a movie that will leave you with a bellyache after laughing so hard.
At the movie's recent press junket at the Beverly Hilton, Ferrell, 47, and Hart, 35, were paired for our interview, creating an energy that filled the room the moment they stepped in.
They touched on Get Hard's politically incorrect racial jokes, being funny dads and roasting Justin Bieber.
WILL, YOU'RE ALSO A PRODUCER ON GET HARD. SO I'M ASSUMING YOU CHOSE KEVIN FOR THE PART?
HART: He summoned me.
Ferrell: I summoned him, yeah. We were able to get a hold of him somehow in his helicopter. Did you know that Kevin doesn't live in a house? He just circles in a helicopter.
Hart: I'm just in a helicopter 24/7...
Ferrell: ...ready to descend.
Hart: You call me, I'll land. And then go back up.
DID YOU FORCE YOURSELF TO BE NAKED AS WELL?
Ferrell: Yeah, I ordered myself as a producer to be naked. You know that was just a character choice that I think really set up what a conceited ass James King is in a way.
That he enjoys waking up naked every morning and subjecting his staff to his naked body... He's basically oblivious to how the real world functions outside of going to his job and making millions of dollars.
IS THERE A LINE THAT YOU WON'T CROSS WHEN IT COMES TO BEING TOO OFFENSIVE?
Hart: Oh, we look for that line and jump across it. Our job is to push the envelope.
Ferrell: Regardless of whether a comedy is PG, PG13, R - whatever the subject matter - some people are going to like it and others aren't.
But we kind of relish these opportunities to be outrageously funny and have a bit of social commentary while we can.
Hart: That's ultimately what comedy is about.
If you're not going to take a chance or be unique in your particular approach to comedy, then why are you doing it? I think that's why there are different genres of comedy.
Ferrell: It'll be interesting to see a movie like Blazing Saddles (the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy) released nowadays with social media, it would be "Ahhhh, what is going on!"
And that's a comedy classic. But you have to be willing to take those chances and I think the thing Kevin and I share is that we're fearless.
HOW DO YOU THINK THAT TRANSLATES INTERNATIONALLY?
Hart: You just need a product that people can understand and relate to and this is a movie that everybody can understand and relate to.
It's dealing with something we all are guilty of, which is stereotypes.
We are all guilty of judging and pre-judging and assuming and when you do that, nine times out of 10, you're probably wrong.
These are two people who are wrong with their assumptions. And that road to friendship that they go on is a great road and that's something I think can be well-received worldwide.
Ferrell: That and a flabby naked butt.
ARE YOU FUNNY FATHERS? DO YOUR KIDS THINK YOU'RE FUNNY?
Ferrell: Mine don't. They find Kevin funny, sure. They find everyone else funny but me. I don't try any more.
Hart: I'm funny to my kids, but it makes me laugh when they call (Ferrell) "President Business" (his character from The Lego Movie), no matter how many times I tell them his name.
And my daughter asked him if he was a master builder and if he could build her something.
BOTH OF YOU PARTICIPATED IN THE COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST OF CANADIAN SINGER JUSTIN BIEBER TWO WEEKS AGO. DO YOU THINK HE WAS FAIRLY TREATED? WHAT'S YOUR OPINION OF HIM?
Hart: Will actually has a great opinion of him. Say that thing you said about the Bieber roast and how you feel...
Ferrell: Ugh, roasts... they're too harsh.
Hart: It's a good situation for Justin. Being that I was the roastmaster, I got to see first-hand how he received the jokes, which were harsh. Some were definitely below the belt.
He took it like a champ. He got up there and gave his rebuttal and apologised for all the mistakes he's made and used it as an opportunity to tell the world that he's moved on with his life.
Good for him, stepping into a new level of maturity, and that was, I guess, his first announcement telling people that he's done with the BS.
YOUR NAMES HAVE BEEN MENTIONED RECENTLY FOR OSCAR HOSTS. WOULD YOU DO IT IF IT WAS OFFERED TO YOU?
Ferrell: I'm doing it! I'm already doing it! Sorry, I was going to call you, Kevin.
Hart: Wait, are they doing it already? I think I'd love to do it.
Ferrell: I'd be too afraid to host. Kevin would be great.
Hart: I'd love to do it. The opportunity will come, it'll be here sooner than later. I'll get a crack at it.
'I love doing comedy'
Get Hard? Get me in!
As someone normally drawn to comedic roles, the icing on the cake for US actress Alison Brie (above) was holding her own alongside famous co-stars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.
In the film, she plays rich girl Alissa, James King's (Ferrell) fiancee who dumps him after he is sentenced to prison for fraud.
"As soon as I knew both of them were attached to the script, I immediately knew it was going to be super funny and I wanted to be a part of it," the 32-year-old told M in a se-parate interview.
But landing the role required her to showcase her sex appeal - the opening scene features her in revealing lingerie, straddling Ferrell.
"Of course, the audition scene was the lingerie one from the movie so there was a lot of chair straddling involved," said Brie.
This is her second film with Ferrell, after last year's animated hit The Lego Movie, where she voiced Unikitty.
But the two never met until the movie's premiere.
Brie, who attended the California Institute of the Arts where she received a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting, is perhaps best known for her small-screen roles like the adorable but tightly wound Annie Edison on the hit comedy series Community and Trudy Campbell on period drama Mad Men.
So far, the funnygirl - who will take the lead opposite Jason Sudeikis in romantic comedy Sleeping With Other People - has been veering towards the comedy genre, with the exception of Mad Men.
"I love doing comedy, and obviously it's not something I planned on doing, but it's fun to do.
"I had so much fun working on Mad Men all those years and would really love to do more drama.
"But I also really love action. So an action/adventure/sci-fi movie would really turn me on."
But her dream role would be co-starring with comediennes such as Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
"There's been such (attention) on women in Hollywood... And I think that's a good thing because the more people are talking about women and the disparity of roles between men and women, the more awareness it creates."
In the meantime, Brie is doing her share to empower more women as producer for a new series for cable TV channel TV Land. It is based on the web series Teachers by all-girl improv group The Katydids.
It follows six dedicated school teachers who do not have it together in their personal lives.
The show is in production for its first season, with Brie making a guest appearance in the pilot.