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Will Packer interview

We chat to the producer of the cop-duo comedy Ride Along.

Ride Along is out on Blu-Ray + Ultraviolet™ and DVD on 30th June 2014 from Universal Pictures (UK). It’s the laugh-out-loud action comedy about a fast talking security guard, Ben (Kevin Hart) who joins his cop brother-in-law, James (Ice Cube) on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta in order to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela, James’ sister.

Ben sees himself as a crime fighting police man and isn’t going to let anyone stop him from achieving his dreams in love and career. What could possibly go wrong?

We caught up with movie’s producer Will Packer to chat about the film, what makes a good cop-duo, his influences and his memories working with the late Paul Walker.

How did you get involved with Ride Along?

Ice Cube’s company brought me the script and I immediately thought of taking it to Tim and Kevin, who I’d just worked with on Think Like A Man.

How quickly did Ice Cube and Kevin Hart strike up that rapport that defines Ride Along?

Immediately, you could feel their chemistry from the first table read.

Kevin Hart is finally making a big name for himself on the international platform. What do you both like about working with him?

I truly enjoy his work ethic. As funny as he is, his comedy is dwarfed (appropriate word for Kevin) by his relentless desire to be great and work for that.

The comedy feels very organic – was there room for much improvisation on-set?

My favourite scene is the strip Club. Kevin gave us great improvs and we could only use some of it.

Which buddy-cop duos do you most like?

48hrs, Rush Hour and Bad Boys. That’s the energy we were going for.

Why do you think it’s been so long since Hollywood nailed the concept of the buddy-cop genre?

It’s tough to find actors that have that chemistry you need for a great buddy-cop movie. The timing was perfect for Kevin and Cube.

How has the industry changed since you’ve become established?

Certainly the onset of digital media and the influence of social media has been massive.

Do you think it’s easier to break into the industry now then when you began?

It’s easier to create content on your own which has led to increased competition for up and coming film-makers. I think that’s a good thing!

Who were your biggest film influences growing up?

Spike Lee and John Singleton.

What are your memories of working with Paul Walker on Takers?

He was always incredible, humble and genuine. He treated the biggest actor on-set the exact same way he treated the PAs.

Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

I’m very excited for Think Like A Man Too – we set it in Las Vegas!

Finally, what has been your favourite movie over the past year?

12 Years a Slave was incomparable.

Ride Along is out on DVD & Blu-ray June 30th from Universal Pictures UK

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