It’s hard to believe Regina Hall is telling the truth when she insists, “We don’t want to steal the scene.” In “About Last Night,” a new remake of the 1986 rom-com, she and co-star Kevin Hart steal every scene they’re in.
The two play Joan and Bernie, a couple who link up due purely to physical attraction and then spend the rest of the film either having sex or talking about sex (they also fall in love because, come on, the film is opening on Valentine’s Day.)
“We both had the same goal, which is to elevate the material,” Hart says, backing up Hall’s claim. “It wasn’t to one-up one another; it was, ‘How do we make the material better? It’s already good; how do we make it great?’ ”
Hart, who also stars in current smash “Ride Along,” and Hall, last seen in “The Best Man Holiday,” were friends before “About Last Night” started shooting, but they had never worked together. On the set, the two found they had a natural chemistry but very different working styles.
“Not only is she going to show up, she knows what she has to do and she knows it inside and out,” Hart says. “Now, I may just show up. I may not have read s—.”
“Kevin is so talented, though,” Hall says. “He can be in the moment, he can improv …”
“Don’t follow my method,” Hart interrupts.
Hart’s off-script skill comes from his success as a stand-up comic, though the years onstage can work against comedians who try to make the transition to film. “Some comedians, their only goal is to be funny,” Hart says. “They don’t understand that some things have to be grounded. It gets crazy because [for them] it’s just about getting a laugh.”
It’s a problem Hart doesn’t have much anymore. “Younger me? Yes,” he says. “But the more you work, the more you understand. It’s growth. With anything, you want to show growth.”
“About Last Night” contrasts the relationship between Joan and Bernie with that of typically sweet couple Danny and Debbie (played by Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant). Hart and Hall say they worked hard to create real characters in a believable, if unorthodox, story.
“There’s so much warmth between the two,” Hall says. “We wanted to make sure the audience saw that. We wanted people to look at those characters, to root for them, to recognize themselves.”