“Get Hard,” the new comedy starring Kevin Hart and co-producer Will Ferrell, gives the two comic superstars an opportunity to play grudging, unlikely allies.
But the appeal of their rapport has taken a backseat to several notable criticisms of the film, which have included a SXSW audience member's memorable barb, “As a fellow Jew, I've got to say that this film seemed as racist as f*ck.”
The film stars Ferrell as a white-collar CEO who's headed to jail after he's framed for a crime. Hart plays a broke acquaintance who helps prepare Ferrell for the challenges of prison, which include fights and rape.
We spoke with Ferrell and Hart about whether the movie's jokes about anal rape and gay culture could be considered mean-spirited or, at the very least, dated.
“I said to myself, 'funny is funny,'” Hart explained. “And at the end of the day, funny is funny regardless of what area it's coming from.”
“The premise of the movie is addressing the fears that someone may have going into prison,” Ferrell added.” “We didn't come up with those fears. They're just a societal norm.”
We also asked Ferrell and Hart about their favorite characters to play and whether the questions of racism have surprised them.
“Get Hard” hits theaters March 27.