Kevin Hart has teamed up with The Rock again for Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. In this film, he plays a bully named Fridge, who gets sucked into the Jumanji game in a tiny body where things like cake and strength actually become his weaknesses.
I went down to Hawaii with a group of journalist to check out the Jumanji set and got to talk to Kevin Hart about his role in the continuation of a loved story. I found out more about his character’s avatar, honoring Robin Williams and what his kids think when he does family-friendly movies. Check out our Q & A with funny man Kevin Hart.
What can you tell us about your character?
Kevin Hart: What can I tell you about my character? I play a small guy in a different world that’s complete opposite of the high school version of who this individual really is. But the thing that’s amazing is that who he is on one side is completely different from the person that he’s forced to be on the other side. With every movie that you do, you always want to make sure there’s an inside message, something that people can walk away and take from the film. I think we put a lot of small innuendoes in here that people will be able to kind of wink at and understand and agree with. You want to switch up what you can. You want to be different and separate yourself from other things that have been done. I think in this case, we’re doing so with all of the characters, including myself.
Are you having fun with strength being your weakness?
So far so good. You’ve got to find different humor. With the small persona of Fridge, that’s one note, so we wanted to find different things. In this particular case, Fridge is a bully. My character’s a bully, in this world, he’s forced to be a bully in a different statue. Without speed, without strength, a guy who’s allergic to eating cake, it’s a bunch of weird shit that we gave him, but it works, because we grounded it to where it makes sense.
With Dwayne, how is your chemistry similar to what you guys had already built together, and how do you go off in different directions?
Look, there’s chemistry, plain and simple. We’re good friends. We’re both professionals. We’re all about the project. How can we make the project better? It’s not about us as individuals or what star stands out the most. It’s about the movie. So for us, it was just getting the script right. How do we make the material right? Do our characters have an arc? Do our characters have a purpose? Do our characters have a reason to be rooted for or not rooted for? That’s the depth that we go through. When you have somebody that puts just as much time into a project off camera that they do on camera, it says a lot about that individual. In this case, it’s something that we both did. We worked on the script for months before, and we got here two weeks before to do rehearsals, and more stuff just to make sure that the chemistry is there, and it is.
Were you a fan of the original movie?
Yeah. I’m a fan of Robin Williams. I think that’s an important thing to bring up, because people think that this is a remake of the original “Jumanji,” and it’s not. It’s a continuation. You don’t touch what’s great and try to redo it. You just have to understand that there’s a generation that has no idea what “Jumanji” is, and that’s the generation of today, the social media generation, the younger generation. They don’t know. So having that game and that world continue, but to fit this mold, it’s a unique idea, and it’s something that we felt that we could bring a lot of light to. So in no way, shape or form are we disrespecting, or reshaping, or reforming the original “Jumanji.” This has nothing to do. It’s a continuation.
Are you excited about your kids seeing this movie?
My kids see everything. Spoiled. Kids will probably see it when they come here and see it. They just love to see daddy do stuff. They’re more excited about animation. When I do animation, my kids get happy. So “Secret Life of Pets 2” and “Captain Underpants,” that’s all they focus on. They don’t care about this shit.