Comedy superstar Kevin Hart (Jumanji, Central Intelligence) brings his signature style to Universal Pictures’ hilarious comedy Night School (in Philippine cinemas September 26).
The comedy from director Malcolm D. Lee that co-stars Girls Trip breakout star Tiffany Haddish follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam.
(General Equivalency Diploma or GED tests are a group of four subject tests which, when passed, provide certification that the test taker has United States or Canadian high school-level academic skills.)
In the film, Hart plays Teddy Walker, a fast-talking guy who’d gotten through so much of life on simply charm. Forced to drop-out of high school after a learning disability sidelined him, Teddy made the best of his situation and relied on his rapid-fire mouth and innate street smarts to get by. Once he loses his job and sees that he’ll also lose the girl of his dreams if he doesn’t change things, Teddy swallows his pride and heads back to get his GED. Along the way, he is supported by a ragtag group of students, each facing challenges of their own.
Hart gives his take on the character, one who is as industrious as he is hilariously shady: “Teddy is a fake-it-till-you make it individual. He feels like he needs to be a certain type of guy to keep the woman that he has. Teddy’s always been able to get around situations because he’s had the gift of gab; he’s a likeable manipulator, but he is never malicious.”
The performer expands on what the film entails, reflecting that, ultimately, Teddy’s story is one of second chances. “It is about a bunch of adults who are living their lives, but not living up to their full potential. The reason is because of a piece of paper, which they feel is holding them up. They think by getting that GED that more opportunities can open up, which will lead to a better life for them and their families. They feel like maybe they have cheated themselves up until this point.”
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One of the hardest-working men in Hollywood pauses, reflecting on the more serious side of the comedy: “It is also about how the power of putting your mind to something can mean so much.”
While on an international promotional tour with producer and longtime friend Will Packer, Hart saw his opportunity to take the project a step further. Their shorthand is a constant source of amusement to each other…as well as to anyone who overhears the conversation.
“Kevin comes up to me at a club in London. We have gone on a long, multi-city tour. I’m tired. I want to party. I don’t want to hear anything Kevin has to say, especially since he’s talking about work,” muses Packer. “He says, ‘Will. I’ve got an idea.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, Kev, I got it; let’s get another drink.’ He says, ‘No, no, no; listen, I got an idea. What if we take a group of misfits who have to go back to night school to get their GEDs?’ I say, ‘That’s brilliant.’” Turns out that turnabout is fair play. “I started talking about it, and Kev goes, ‘Man, we’re in a club! I don’t want to talk about this. I just wanted you to get the idea,’ and he left. That is literally how he pitched me Night School.”
Night School is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.