He may be a little guy, but Kevin Hart makes a big entrance. “The Chocolate Drop himself! I’m right here, guys,” he announced, walking into a room full of journalists at the swanky SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.
The red-hot comic—who appears to be starring in a Hollywood film every other month—stars next in what he calls his first “hard-R” rated movie, “The Wedding Ringer.”
The 35-year-old talent—reunited with producer Will Packer (“Think Like a Man,” “Ride Along,” “About Last Night“) for this film—stars opposite Josh Gad in this buddy comedy.
In the movie, Hart plays Jimmy Callahan, a best-man-for-hire to friendless grooms-to-be looking to stage their wedding party. Jimmy is a man of multiple identities, a microphone chameleon adapting to the wedding day needs—and sometimes funeral services—of his clientele. In “The Wedding Ringer,” Hart’s primary alter ego is a hip Catholic priest named “Bic Mitchum,” named by Gad’s character Doug Harris after his disposable shaver and deodorant brand.
Hart said this project—a stalled project created 14 years ago for Vince Vaughn by screenwriters Jeremy Garelick (who also directs) and Jay Lavender—was an ideal vehicle to expand his reach.
“The point I’m at in my career is to propel to the next level — and that’s international,” he explained. “I want to be broad. Multicultural! Have everybody want to go see (my movies).”
The Philly-bred funnyman said when Packer presented this project to him, he read the script and knew it was the movie he needed for international appeal.
“Everything happens when it’s supposed to and for a reason,” Hart explained. “This was a project sitting for years. Then it was brought to my attention and came together so quickly because the timing was right. I take my hat off to these guys being so patient and for Jeremy to not let up and let anyone else direct it.”
Though we’re seeing a lot of the “Real Husbands of Hollywood” star these days—he’s currently in Chris Rock’s “Top Five” and also has two more movies slated this year, “Get Hard” and “Ride Along 2″—Hart believes his role in “The Wedding Ringer” is something we haven’t seen before.
“I needed to find the right piece of material where ‘I’m the man’ and I’m literally all over the place,” he offered, before adding: “This is my first hard-R movie where, for the first time, I was able to cut loose and press the envelope. Because of the R rating, it goes beyond what you expect when you see ‘Wedding’ in the title. It’s comedy with a lot of raunchy stuff, but also there’s a lot of heart.”
Laugh-out-loud scenes, heartfelt bromance moments and a chaotic wedding more entertaining than most reality shows, “The Wedding Ringer” is a fun comedy full of heart and showcasing the best of Hart.
“The Wedding Ringer” hits theaters on Friday, January 16 and also features Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Jenifer Lewis, Affion Crockett and Cloris Leachman.
VIDEO: Watch the official trailer for “The Wedding Ringer” below.