Kevin Hart’s latest hit, Lift, was mistaken for James Bond.
The 44-year-old produced and led a large ensemble, including Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sam Worthington, Billy Magnussen, and Yun Jee Kim, as master thief Cyrus Whitaker, who tried the unthinkable by ‘lifting’ gold bars off a plane at 40,000 feet.
In the film, fans will witness the Jumanji star in a character he has never played before, giving Tom Cruise, Jason Statham, and Mark Wahlberg a run for their money in the action department.
Kevin and Gugu discuss their Netflix film, which is now available for streaming, and how they created a unique heist story.
When comparing some of the more action-heavy scenes to something we’d see in James Bond or the Fast and Furious franchise, Gugu – who plays police lead Abby Gladwell – recalled: ‘It’s so funny you say that, actually, because when we were filming in Venice, I’m running along the canal and some tourists were saying to the crew, “Is this new Bond movie?”
‘I was jumping into a boat like, “It’s Lift, you’ll hear about it in a year!”’
Kevin interjected: ‘No, it’s Lift! Just make sure you go and you stream it. It’s Lift, it’s not Bond! It’s not!’
Could he possible fit into those renowned shoes following his recent release?
The film follows the gang as they attempt the impossible: steal gold bars worth a lot of money from an aeroplane.
Cyrus leads Abby on a crazy cat-and-mouse rollercoaster that takes viewers throughout the world, beginning with a heart-pounding passage in Venice’s canals that any action hero would be proud of.
When asked whether he had any scary moments while filming the Bond-esque feats, Kevin joked that he was a ‘trained assassin’ in real life, so he kindly allowed the stunt crew take over in order to keep in character.
‘A lot of those guys had to go home in ways that they didn’t come. But naturally, that’s what happens when you deal with Kevin,’ he joked.
‘The thing with me is I’m a trained assassin, naturally. So, suppressing that while filming is the true job at hand – because martial arts is my first love. In this case, Cyrus didn’t know martial arts, so I had to take that back.
‘But there was a couple of times where it came out in rehearsal, and I ended up getting some guys. “Did I kill that guy?” I don’t think I [killed him] but there was a thing where he couldn’t breathe, so we had to get him back to life.
‘That was a scare and that’s when I told people, “My hands are weapons.” That’s when I let the stunt guys partake in what they were supposed to do.’
Kevin is well-known for his comic abilities and has spent much of his time in the spotlight making us laugh, owing to appearances in comedies such as Central Intelligence, Ride Along, and Me Time.
However, with Lift, he disregarded the chuckles and jumped right into his villain role, apparently relishing the opportunity to be little more serious.
‘It’s not really villain,’ he clarified. ‘What it is, it’s con. It’s a guy who’s not necessarily doing the right thing – it’s the wrong thing – but because it’s con, and its charm, you feel like he’s doing the right thing.
‘His ability to make you feel like you’re at ease, and like you’re a part of good, it’s all based off of what he does well. That, for me, is a lot of fun to play because it’s a place that I can play in that’s real, that’s grounded, and that isn’t farfetched to see me in.
‘That’s what I think was the most interesting thing about Cyrus. You didn’t throw me into an atmosphere where people go, ” What? No!” You get it. It’s like, “Oh, I do see him being that, and I get why he’s able to do that well.”
‘Then I like the romance side of it. It wasn’t overstated, it was understated, and then you find yourself invested.’
Lift is available to stream on Netflix now.