Manic bunny Snowball returns in The Secret Life of Pets 2, teaming up with plucky Shih Tzu Daisy to save an endangered tiger. STACK chats with the super-rabbit’s alter ego, Kevin Hart.

Actors are renowned for making various preparations before taking on a role, sometimes extreme. Kevin Hart shares some of his secrets with us.

“Well I’ve always been a method actor, it’s something that me and Daniel Day Lewis have worked very hard on, to this date it’s just the top of the line. It’s literally the best of the best and only the best of the best, so I can only hope that we continue to raise our game and give the people what they want, which is more amazing, profound acting in the animation space!”

So, did the actor only eat carrots leading up to this?

“All day for three years straight!” Hart jokes.

This isn’t the first rodeo for Hart voicing an animated character, with him working recently on the truly epic Captain Underpants movie. We wondered how he feels knowing that he brings heaps of joy to kids – and a lot of adults – with such roles.

“I think, when you talk about just being able to step into the world of animation, that you literally put yourself in a position to just be memorable conscience – this is something that will be shared for ages and can be passed down,” ponders Hart.

“When I think about the animation movies that my kids came up on, I think about series like Shrek and Toy Story, and you look at Despicable Me and Ice Age. These are movies that are watched over and over again. I mean my kids watched and watched and watched and watched Frozen, so now for The Secret Life of Pets to be in that company, that’s a big deal – to be on a part two of an animation is a big deal. You’re entering a very high-level group that you can only just kind of give applause to.”

Snowball was all up in anti-domestication freedom fighting in the first movie, and now he’s lavishing in a pampered, homey lifestyle. With tongue in cheek, we wonder whether Hart had any concerns about giving voice to a sell-out. Perhaps appropriately, he becomes animated…

“You can’t call Snowball a sell-out! It’s the best thing to happen to any darn animation since sliced bread!” he roars. “He’s an emotional, human being [sic] that’s suffering from insecurities as well as a high panic and manic state of mind! You’ve got to be patient with Snowball, and understand that he’s developing and he was also raised by a magician, so there’s a lot of stuff that you don’t know! There’s a lot of backstory that didn’t make the movie.”

Snowball keeps it real for those who stay put for the credits, who’ll experience the attitude-drenched gangsta rap Panda. We wonder if that was scripted from the start, or whether it evolved randomly at some point.

“I think it kind of evolved,” says Hart, initially earnestly. “The thing about being a gangsta rapper is that not many can do what we do, and by ‘we’, of course, I’m talking about Snowball and myself. We’re part of a very elite group and always have been. So, the world of gangsta rap is a better place now that Snowball is being highlighted.”

Ultimately, how would Hart sum up The Secret Life of Pets 2?

“It’s a movie for all, and I hope that kids not only go see it, but enjoy it,” he declares. “To all families out there, just make sure that you guys literally do what you’re supposed to, which is laugh. It’s a movie that you can laugh at, and there’s a very important message that you can all walk away from it with.”

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