Guest Editor Terrence J Talks Funniest Kevin Hart Moment On-Set and Playing Obama


Vibe / April 16, 2012

Tell me the funniest shit that happened to you on set.

I don’t wanna give away too much. There’s a line in the film when we’re in a room, and it’s all of us and Gabby played a very practical joke that was meant towards me and our director. It was only one take that we did it, so the cut that we did made air. When you watch the movie, you’ll see that scene where I go back home, and I’m showing the guys a picture of my girl. You’ll see that that moment was totally unscripted.

One moment that everybody’s seen is in the trailer. When we’re playing basketball against Metta World Peace, Lisa Leslie and Shannon Brown and all those guys, Kevin goes to take the ball from Artest and, like, he really tried to get the ball. He’s like, ‘Yo, I’m gonna rip the ball and bring it back to y’all,’ and Ron wasn’t even really paying attention. Ron was holding the ball to give it to Brown, and Ron is a strong dude. When Kevin went to grab it, Kevin ends up falling on the court and makes a huge loud thump. We had to shut down production and our director was like, ‘Okay, we gotta keep that’ ‘cause it was just the funniest.


That was every day with Kevin though. See, Kevin’s great. Kevin is like one of the smartest dudes I know, and to be a comedian on his level and for him to take what’s on a script and take real life and put it in a way that’s so funny, it’s truly an art. Like I read the script and then I watched the film, and I’m like, ‘Dude, you are freakin’ funny,’ because I couldn’t do half of the stuff he does with words. I mean he can really just bring them to life.

A lot of improv?

Yeah, we have to do a post-interview after so we can tell you about all the behind-the-scenes moments of this as well.

With acting, where do you wanna take it? Are you in a place where you want to do something that’s Oscar-worthy?

Absolutely. I mean I always said playing the young Barack Obama in law school would be [my] dream role. I mean, whenever you’re in a field where there’s a top achievement award, I think that’s always the goal. If you’re a musician, then I think you always aspire to get a Grammy one day. If you’re an engineer, you wanna build the tallest building. So with acting, an Academy Award is always in the back of my mind, and hopefully one day, I’ll have the skill set and the role to do that.

You say you wanna play Obama. Do you study his mannerisms?

All day.

Could we get a snippet of it?

If the role ever came out, he didn’t have the same mannerisms that he has now in college. I actually watched a speech of him in college. He’s gained a lot. He’s become a lot better. So yeah, I would really have to delve into that character.

Agreed. Now, onto the five things that you’ve learned from film.

I think number one would be trust your instinct. Number two would be trust your director ’cause it’s his vision that’s on-screen and sometimes he’ll give you direction or even when I work with somebody, whoever, the way I saw it was always different.

Preparation. The way I got my role for Think Like A Man is because I just prepared. I studied the script; I know the entire script by heart.

To stay focused. When you’re doing a film, the more focused you are at that and blocking out all the rest, it really helps. Whenever I’m in character or when I’m on a set now, I try not to focus on any other hustles or gigs, I just turn that all off and stay focused.

And the last one would be to have fun. Everything in life is better when you’re having fun.

Definitely. In regards to the rest of the cast, who were you the most starstruck to meet?

There’s nobody that I haven’t met for the first time in this because the good thing about my job is that I’ve met everybody. On 106 & Park, I’ve met everyone from Jonah Hill to Jack Hughman so whenever I get on set, then I at least got that initial [excitement], so that’s over. I don’t know if starstruck is the right word, but I was really in awe at a lot of them and their performances the way they really just turned it off and on and that really helped me, like now I know it’s competitive. Working with them and seeing them in their environments, like Gabrielle Union and Taraji and Regina Hall, these women are beasts. They’re really good at what they do.