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The Secret Life of Pets Cast Interview: Kevin Hart, Lake Bell & Eric Stonestreet

By July 03, 2016 ,

During the press junket for The Secret Life of Pets, I joined in group interviews with the cast of the movie including Eric Stonestreet, Lake Bell and Kevin Hart. Like their characters in the movie, each brought lots of laughter and heart to each interview.

Note: I was invited as media to the movie screening and press junket interviews. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

During our interview with Kevin Hart, I asked him if he had to do any "research" before getting into character for "Snowball"?

Kevin Hart: Well, I’m real big on method. I’m like Daniel Day-Lewis. So, I went and spent a lot of time with some bunnies. I only ate lettuce for like seven months before filming this movie.

Onica {MommyFactor}: Did you learn to wiggle your nose, too?

Kevin Hart: I did. Here’s the thing. It wasn’t about wiggling my nose. I didn’t want to use my fingers because I was like, “It’s no fair. Bunnies don’t have fingers.” So, I just wore mittens for like that seven-month period, I didn’t tap my feet, I made a thumping noise because bunnies thump.

And I just hopped a lot. I hopped a whole lot. And when it came time to film I had the mindset of a bunny. And then, I realized that I was in a booth, and I didn’t have to use any of that sh*t. So, all of my method went out the window, so--.

While Kevin did joke some about his role, he did get serious when talking about why he enjoyed voicing Snowball.

Kevin Hart: Snowball is basically fussing at people. That’s why I love Snowball. But, his anger is justified. It’s not like he doesn’t like people just because they’re people. He doesn’t like people because he was hurt. He bought into the whole person and pet reality. And when he was hurt by that because someone abandoned him, it really threw him off. That’s what I love about this character, you know.

I don’t just do things just to do them. I have to put depth to it. And that’s with any movie that I’ve done. And that’s what me and the director talked about. I was like, “I don’t just want to play the guy because he’s funny. What’s the foundation?”

During our interview with Eric Stonestreet, I asked him what are some of his favorite scenes in the movie for his character "Duke”?

Eric Stonestreet: I love, obviously, the sausage factory. I mean, I knew from the beginning that that was going to be good. And that was really fun to play with because, I try to give so many variations of lines and sort of tone, so that they can mash it up--and definitely played with that--they have really food drunk versions of Duke after sausages.

Then we had to bring it back down to a normal, regular place, but that was fun. And I like when Duke goes home, and you find a little bit about his past history. And I love that about the movie. It’s important, obviously, for these movies to have poignancy in the story and pull on the heart strings a little bit.

Eric Stonestreet: But, it’s one thing I love about Illumination is that it risks just being funny. It risks putting it out there and being, you know, a fun jaunt through New York City that kids can just feel like they’re on an amusement park ride.

We want you to go, we want you to watch, and we want you to go home and want to give your dog or cat a big hug when you get home.

During our interview with Lake Bell, I asked her what is it about this eclectic group that in her character "Chloe" mind means this is her family, her people? Even though she acts, “Oh, I could care less,”?

Lake Bell: I think people who feign a kind of carelessness, actually need the love and the comradery the most. It’s not like Chloe is svelte and perfect all the time, she is always falling on her face and her come-upness happens every day.

So, I think that makes her lovable and worth listening to. But, that said, I think that it’s very akin to kind of how New York works.

You know, it’s like you live next to complete strangers, and you’re right on top of them. And you see them every day in your apartment, you know, whether it’s in your elevator or down at the laundry, or wherever it is. We live in these compact spaces.

Lake Bell: And I think the pets kind of take on that thematic, which is like it’s who you live with, and this is who you got, so you better either make a choice to ice your neighbor, or you can be like, “Hi, how are you? Good to see you again,” you know.

And you look out for each other. It’s your mini community. In suburban streets maybe we have like your street. But, in New York we have our floor. I love the kind of ragtag group of animals that sort of come together as a little team. I’m a sucker for that stuff.

And it's the amazing adventure that this little core team go on that makes The Secret Life of Pets a great movie to see when it opens in Theaters July 8, 2016!

Thanks to Illumination, Universal and the cast for taking the time to share about their characters in the movie.

The Secret Life of Pets movie


For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan and Albert Brooks.

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch.

To learn more about The Secret Life of Pets, visit - www.thesecretlifeofpets.com
On Facebook - www.facebook.com/SecretLifeOfPets
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/PetsMovie

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  1. Interviewing Kevin Hart in person must have been hilarious!!. His responses were dead on for this audience.