Will Ferrell & Kevin Hart Reveal Why 'Get Hard' Could Never Have Less Than An 'R' Rating
On Monday evening, Will Ferrell devotees lined up to see the comedian's latest flick, Get Hard , debut at SXSW film, music, and interactive festival. The screening was met with an overly packed house, with chuckles so hearty they muffled half the jokes Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart delivered on screen. But like many of Ferrell's films, the jokes, banter, and overall themes are less than family friendly. Get Hard follows millionaire James King (Ferrell), busted for fraud and headed to the dreaded San Quentin prison. In a Hail Mary attempt at keeping himself from becoming "someone's bitch," he turns to Darnell Lewis (Hart), a car detailer who works in the basement of his building to prep him to go behind bars. The comedy comes from the fact that Darnell has never seen the inside of a prison cell, and his knowledge of life behind bars comes from films like Boyz n the Hood. But depicting prison life isn't PG-13, and it's certainly not SFW.
"It could have been PG-13, but it wouldn’t have made any sense," Ferrell says. "We wanted to have the leeway to just go for it and not hold back." And his co-star Kevin Hart agrees. "There’s absolutely no scenario at all in which it could have been PG-13," he says. "We had to go rated R, because we’re dealing with jail. You can’t soften jail up. For the movie to be done right, we had to be allowed to go there. The studio took us on, said ‘OK, we’ll roll with you guys.’ Will and his team did a great job at at delivering material. Etan Cohen did a great job at directing, and made sure we stayed in guidelines that were real. It got crazy, but made sure we grounded it enough to where we could still have a good movie."
The trailer offers a solid sense of what to expect: Racial stereotypes, bad first impressions, lots of crude language, and sexual humor up the wazoo. "There’s always the conversation about whether it should be PG13 — there's a bigger audience — but from the beginning, you can’t make a movie about what goes on in prison and have it not be R," director Cohen says. "In fact we were almost NC-17, and had to pull it back a little bit."
You can see Get Hard, and its bevy of inappropriate — albeit hilarious — jokes, in theaters March 27. Watch the trailer below: