Manic bunny Snowball is back in The Secret Life of Pets 2, and he’s teaming up with plucky Shih Tzu Daisy to save an endangered tiger. STACK chatted with their alter egos, Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish.
The movie features three stories that all come together neatly towards the end, and one of these belongs to your characters, Daisy and Snowball. Having worked together so well in Night School, did you get to riff off each other at all here, or did you record your parts separately?
Tiffany Haddish: We had to do it separately, we didn’t get to play with each other like we normally do.
Did you have any freedom to go off-script, and did any of that make it into the final cut?
TH: Yeah, the director said let us play – well he let me play, I don’t know, he might not have let Kevin play ‘cos…
Kevin Hart: You know what? We had a lot of room to improv if we stayed within the structure that was given to us, but I think the benefit of having Tiffany and myself was allowing us to bring our comedic talent to the material. So, the director loved it, the producers all loved it, it was something that was welcome.
Did either of you do any sort of special preparation for the roles?
KH: 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, does that mean you only ate carrots leading up to this?
KH: For three years straight!
As well as The Secret Life of Pets, you’ve respectively voiced characters in one of the LEGO Movie outings and the truly epic Captain Underpants movie. How does it feel knowing that you bring heaps of joy to kids – and a lot of adults – with roles such as these?
KH: 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. 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 – you know, Bolt, The Incredibles. 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, and also give yourself a major pat on the back just for being in that company.
Tiffany, we love that Daisy is courageous and really has her heart in the right place. What do you think are her best qualities?
TH: I think that Daisy’s best quality is that she has a lot of compassion for others, and that when she says she’s going to do something she gets it’s done and that she’s not afraid to ask for help.
TH: …and she’s sassy!
KH: What you guys don’t know about Daisy though is Daisy has a little thing called a breath problem. Daisy – her hygiene is not the greatest, and that’s why I’m glad that we were able to camouflage that through the great performance that Tiffany gave.
TH: Lies on top of lies!
Kevin, judging by his gangsta rap Panda when the credits roll, there’s still quite a lot of attitude left in Snowball, despite his newfound domestic bliss. Was that in the script from the start, or did it just evolve kind of randomly at some point? Will we hear more from this fluffy new rap sensation?
KH: Well, I think that it kind of evolved. 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 you sum up The Secret Life of Pets 2?
KH: It’s a movie for all, and I hope that kids not only go see it, but enjoy it. To all families out there, just make sure that you guys literally go and 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.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is now showing in Australian cinemas.