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Video/Q&A: 'Ride Along' stars Kevin Hart and Ice Cube

January 14, 2014|Matt Pais, @mattpais | RedEye movie critic

When Ice Cube was younger, he went to a girl’s house hoping to impress her, not her family. Oops.

“It was cool at the door,” says Cube. “I walked in, she went in the back, and her grandmother said, ‘Why don’t you just get the hell out of here?’”

“Look at him!” Cube’s “Ride Along” co-star Kevin Hart says. “I would have told him the same thing!”

While at the time Ice Cube wasn’t yet Ice Cube—says Hart, “He was just a little boy with a Jheri curl”—it’s no secret that families can be protective when it comes to possible suitors. In “Ride Along,” opening Friday, Ben (Hart) must receive James’ (Cube) blessing before proposing to James’ sister Angela (Tika Sumpter). That means time in James’ cop car and more danger than wannabe officer Ben may be ready to handle.

At the Peninsula Hotel, Hart, 34, and Cube, 44, talked about switching roles, Cube’s hypothetical stand-up career and, yes, grandmas, who Hart says “might be the most intimidating people you can meet at first. Grandmas say what they want. They know they on their way out of here.”

Kevin, have you had your own tough experience with a girlfriend’s grandma?
KH: No, unfortunately I’ve never met a female’s grandmother that I dated. Which actually is a bad thing because it means that I was never good enough to meet [the grandmother]. [Laughs] I’ll always have run-ins with the father. I remember actually I had to impress this girl’s father because he caught me touching his daughter’s butt one time. This is a true story, man. This girl I was seeing, we were talking, I’m over at her house and we’re on the porch. We’re hugging, but my hand is on her butt. He came out there, he was like, “What’s your problem, man? Respect my house.” I was like, “I’m so sorry, sir, I’m so sorry.” I was just trying to kiss his behind forever after that. I was like, “Hey, I’m going to go to the store. Do you want me to bring you anything, sir?” “Go ahead, man, I don’t need nothing from you.”

Do you think women have an easier time getting in with a significant other’s families?
IC: Not necessarily.
KH: Mothers, no.
IC: Mothers and sisters can be vicious, you know what I mean? They can let ‘em have it.
KH: If you come from a family [who loves you], nobody thinks that anybody is good enough for you until you get to a certain age.

Before this movie, how much time had you spent in cop cars?
IC: I mean, you know. Ride from the incident to the station. Not too long.
KH: My rides, they haven’t been happy. I don’t think it’s something that’s in a good train of memory in my life.
IC: And why the seats gotta be so tight on the knees?
KH: Why don’t they take the handcuffs off when they sit us back there? That’s my problem! And there’s no cushion in the seats.
IC: No. [It’s] hard as a rock.
KH: That’s the real problem. What if we write a letter? Let’s write a letter.
IC: I think so, man. At least they can make it a little more comfortable.

I think at least when people watch cop shows, they find it funny that the cops are so physical but always say, “Watch your head.”
KH: Or they got the cops that will just automatically push you. Remember [the cop who] was doing it the other day?
IC: Yeah, trying to push the head while you still trying to talk.
KH: The guy’s trying to still talk and get his last words out, and he just push his head underneath.

Let’s say you guys switched roles for “Ride Along”: Kevin’s playing the tough, silent type.
KH: Which is what it should have been.

Cube is playing the awkward newbie. Who do you think would be more convincing?
KH: It’s a no-brainer, man.
IC: He would be way more convincing.
KH: You doggone right, I would!
IC: I would have a hard time with that role.
KH: Listen, I breathe bad guy. Everything about me says “action.” Everything about me says, “Hey, don’t play no game.”
IC: “Hey, don’t play no game.”
KH: I have a lot of bad guy action lines in my head that are just waiting to come out.

What is it about you that sends that message?
KH: Everything about me!
IC: Hit me with one of those action lines.
KH: One of my action lines? “These streets ain’t gonna clean itself.”
IC: [Laughs] Gimme one more, baby.
KH: “Hey, look me in my eyes because when I make eye contact back, that mean the [bleep] just got real.”
IC: That ain’t a cool one.
KH: You’re crazy!
IC: That ain’t, “Make my day.”
KH: I have so many, man.
IC: [to me] Keep goin’, man.
KH: “At the end of the day, a man ain’t a man unless he walk the walk of a beat.” Get it?

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