Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart on ‘Central Intelligence’, Playing Against Type, and ‘Baywatch’

     June 16, 2016

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are at the top of their respective games. Johnson is arguably the biggest action star in the world with a roster of upcoming franchises so packed it makes Tom Cruise look like he’s slacking, and Hart is a reigning comedy champ, keeping up a steady stream of stand-up between his box office triumphs. From their skill sets and famous personas, to their polar opposite physicalities, it almost seems fated that Hart and Johnson would eventually be paired up as the mismatched duo at the heart of an action comedy, but Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s Central Intelligence has the smarts to play against expectations by putting Hart in the role of the straight man and letting Johnson get real weird with it.

The film stars Johnson and Hart as a mismatched pair of pair of former high school classmates who reunite years later only to find their lives have taken completely unexpected paths. Johnson plays Bob Stone, a deadly CIA operative who’s just a little bit nutty from years of brutal high school bullying thanks to his status as the resident fat kid. However, there was one person that was always kind to him, the former king of the campus, Calvin (Hart), aka The Golden Jet, who grew up to become a straight-laced, underachieved accountant. While Calvin is disappointed with his achievements in life, Bob still sees him with big heart eyes, and when he’s framed for treason he didn’t commit on the eve of their 20-year high school reunion, Bob believes the Jet is just the man to get him out of his predicatment…whether Calvin agrees or not.


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Image via Warner Bros

With Central Intelligence in theaters this weekend, I sat down with Johnson and Hart earlier to chat about the film. We talked about why they were excited to have the opportunity to play against type, if they were more of a Weirdicht or Jet in highschool, and which cinematic superspy would win in a fight. We also chatted a bit about Johnson’s upcoming Baywatch movie and what to expect from the R-rating.

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart:

  • Were they attracted to the opportunity to play against type?
  • Were they more of a Weirdicht or Golden Jet in high school?
  • Ethan Hunt, James Bond and Jason Bourne get into a fight, who walks out alive?
  • What is the tone of Baywatch‘s R-rating?
  • Talk about people being surprisingly excited for a Baywatch movie.

Here’s the official Central Intelligence synopsis:

The story follows a one-time bullied geek, Bob, who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent (Dwayne Johnson), coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of former “big man on campus,” Calvin (Kevin Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he’s getting into, it’s too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than Calvin can count.


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Image via Warner Bros.

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