“I haven’t seen a comedian command a scene like Kevin Hart can since Eddie Murphy” – Ice Cube

Our sentiments exactly Cube. And if you’re skeptical about that bold statement, or doubt the funny power Hart possesses–don’t worry– it’s because you have yet to see his latest film Ride Along.

After a highly successful 2013, funny man Kevin Hart is proving he isn’t a one trick pony – starring alongside the legendary Ice Cube in his very first action role (although majority of the ass-kicking was done by the latter). The dynamic duos new comedy Ride Along, directed by Tim Story (Fantastic Four, Think Like A Man) is an undoubtedly refreshing perspective on the classic buddy-cop genre. In the film, Hart plays a pesky wannabe police officer seeking the approval of his girlfriend’s older brother played by Cube— a no-nonsense veteran cop who isn’t too fond of him.

Heed Magazine sat down with the two hilarious leading men during the films exclusive press conference and gaming lounge held at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles. The two actors, who had never worked together before, had us laughing the entire time, showing that their undeniable chemistry is just as solid in real life as it is on camera!

Heed: First off great job on the funny and effortless chemistry you guys had in this film! Ice Cube your career has immensely evolved from your “F**k the police” days. Is it ever strange when you think about where you’ve come from and the numerous police and no-nonsense roles you’ve played?

Ice Cube: You know it’s been an amazing ride. I always tell people that if you gave me a pen and piece of paper when I was a teenager to write out how I wanted my career to go, I would’ve probably short-changed myself. So I’m extremely proud of what I’ve accomplished, and I feel like I’m young and have a lot more to offer and to do. Sometimes I feel restrained by the process of Hollywood as far as the creative ideas that I have, its impossible to do them all. But I just fight through the obstacles and make sure that I’m always creative.

Heed: You both seemed to portray your characters with ease. What was it like on set while you both had to convince the audience you hated each other?

Ice Cube: Kevin really is a pro and was always ready and on point. He would make the crew laugh, but also make the camera laugh, and a lot of comedians can’t do that. Some comedians I worked with I would have to pull to the side and say, “You making the crew crack up, but when we shooting you ain’t got no energy, what the fuck (laughs).” But kevin is the energizer bunny. I dont know if its coffee or cocaine. I haven’t seen a comedian command a scene like Kevin Hart can since Eddie Murphy. He basically holds you hostage in a scene he’s in until he wants to let you go. He captures not only the hood audience but every other type of audience too.

Kevin: (laughs) All other hoods!

Ice Cube: Yeah the Chinese hoods, African hoods, Israeli hoods, he can get them all into it!

Kevin: There is definitely a mutual respect. Knowing Cube’s background and the comedic careers that he’s launched in the past, I was excited! And then after meeting him and really talking and vibing about the project, once we got on set we both had the same agenda, which was to knock this movie out the damn park and bring our A game. And it takes a true professional like Cube to allow somebody like myself to come in and be funny, riff and be crazy. There are so many people that would try and battle with the funny. But he did a great job at playing his lane and setting me up to win. Its a different level of respect that I have for guys like him.

Heed: You guys have individually worked with the great Tim Story in completely opposite films from “Ride Along”. Was there any differences working with him this time in an action film?  

Ice Cube: I don’t know how Tim Story gets anything done because he’s so laid back. He’s in total control while filming, but his posture is damn near like he was invited to the set. Like he’s somebody’s friend hanging around, because he’s so relaxed. When I first worked with him on Barbershop, that first week of filming was rough because we had 17 and 18 hour days. But now he’s real fast when it comes to filming. I can’t wait to work with him again.

Kevin: Tim is also greedy as hell! I’ve never seen a person eat more throughout the damn day. I went through a phase where I was just smacking sh** out of his hand. I would wait for him to get down to his last bite of food and just smack it out his hand.

Heed: So I bet there were non-stop laughs on set! What’s the scene each of you enjoyed filming the most, or couldn’t stop laughing while doing it?

Kevin: There are so many laugh out loud moments in the movie, but my favorite has to be the warehouse sequence.

Ice Cube: When you slap the sh** out of me?

Kevin: Yep. When I slapped you and stuck you with the knife. That was so fun because those were long shooting days, and Cube just had to sit in a chair all day while I ran around in the scene. And when I stuck him with the knife, we were literally laughing out loud the entire scene. Oh, and of course the scene where I accidently shoot David Banner.

Ice Cube: See I liked the strip club scene. Funny as hell because of all the circumstances our characters were involved in. Kevin’s character was like a cockroach, after all the things I put him through he still wouldn’t go away.

Kevin: See, that cockroach comparison was a little extreme.

Heed: The beautiful Tika Sumpter holds it down as the only female lead in the film, what was it like working with her and have a female presence on a set full of guys?

Kevin: Tika was great man. She’s gonna go far because she has such a good head on her shoulders. I thought the casting of her was perfect because you believe the relationship between her and both our characters. Everything about her was perfect for the film. You can thank Tim and Will for that decision.

And by the way I want to let everyone know that I have a scene with my shirt of in this film that I feel is going to change my career. This is what people have wanted to see for some time now, and at 29 minutes and 56 seconds in the film is when it happens. Everything about that scene says, “Action”.

Heed: Im sure the ladies will be looking out for that 29 minute mark! In the film Ben (Hart) is constantly seeking approval and respect from James (Cube). In real life is there anyone you’ve had to prove anything to, or in Hollywood? And when did you realize that you “made it.”

Kevin: I still don’t know that I made it. The minute I think about it is the minute I’m gonna go crazy. This is all a dream to me. That’s why I don’t go to sleep, I’m afraid if I close my eyes I’m gonna wake up and this sh** will be over.

Ice Cube: Yeah I guess I had to prove it to myself more than anybody. My parents were extra supportive of me getting into hip hop.

Kevin: Really!? The N.W.A thing they was cool with? F**k the police your mom liked?

Ice Cube: Yeah man (laughs). She was like “Why you gotta talk like that?” But she knew it was positive hanging out with Dre over hanging out with the neighborhood crips. And it took a couple of checks and me rolling up in something new for my brother and sister to respect me and take what I was doing seriously.

Kevin: See I never wanted to prove nobody wrong, but I tell you my mom who passed away seven years ago, was definitely the most supportive person in the start of my career and me wanting to be a comedian. But my brother and dad was the same way, they were like, “The comedy thing is just stupid Kev.” And once the checks started coming in they both were like, “You know what Kev, you alright!”

Heed: Kevin your character has a fight or flight moment when Ice Cube shows up at your house, and you accidentally knock yourself out in front of your girl. Have either of you had a moment in real life where you looked back and were really embarrassed by your reaction?

Kevin: Hell yeah. I’ve had tons of those moments. I’ve pushed several women in front of a violent situation to take cover for myself. My rule is save myself first. There was one incident at a movie theater where my girl got mad at these guys because they were talking behind us, like three guys. And she was like, “will ya’ll just shut up!” So I just quietly got up and moved about three rows in front of me and left her there (laughs).

Ice Cube: When me and Dre first started off rapping, we went to this female singers house to pick her up. So while we were waiting for her to come out, these young dudes were walking down the street and all of a sudden started shooting at us! So Im yelling at Dre, “drive! drive! drive!” and he’s still looking around trying to see who exactly is shooting, like it mattered if they was aiming at us.

Kevin: See, as you can tell me and Cube have two different growing up experiences. I was at a movie theater and Cube was in the most violent situation ever.

Heed: Well guys its been an absolute pleasure. Congrats on such a funny and entertaining piece of work. You guys always have the support of Heed Magazine, and we look forward to watching future projects from the both of you.

Make sure you watch the hilarious Ride Along when it hits theaters this Friday, January 17th!