Ice Cube, rapper, record producer, actor and filmmaker, and Kevin Hart, comedian and actor, were welcomed to the Graduates Memorial Building (GMB) by a cheering audience Friday. They were here at the invitation of the Phil, where they were awarded honorary patronage of the society.
Ice Cube and Hart are on a European tour promoting their new film Ride Along 2. Ice Cube thanked Universal Studios for their support of the film, which he saw as particularly important given that both of the leading actors are black: “You need that extra push sometimes when two black co-stars are pushing and starring in a film.”
When they were asked about the film industry, they both agreed that a true entertainer is diverse and can work in many different fields of entertainment. Kevin Hart compared an entertainer to a brain and said that entertaining is: “What you make of it.”
They also discussed the importance of films and how they have been given the opportunity to inspire and motivate people to achieve whatever they set their minds too. Kevin expressed this point by saying: “We use this power… to inspire the younger generation to rise up and become next in line.”
One of the questions that was asked was how they feel about the Academy Awards (Oscars) and the view that the nominees are lacking in diversity, which has caused many celebrities, such as Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee, to decide to boycott the annual event. Many people were shocked that Straight Outta Compton, a film produced by Ice Cube, was not nominated or recognized by the Oscars despite the film’s major success around the world.
When ask what his view was, Ice Cube said that: “It really doesn’t matter.” He explained that he has never attended the event and that in his mind: “When you do a film like Straight Outta Compton, the awards come way before the award shows. The awards come from the people, the studio and everyone involved in making the film.” Kevin Hart agreed with this view, stating that: “It’s for the fans and you guys going to see it, [that] is our Oscar.”
When asked about their plans for the future, Ice Cube talked about Cube Vision, his film and television production company, and how he plans to continue to work on and build the company. Kevin Hart discussed his upcoming project The Secret Life of Pets, in which he voices Snowball, a white rabbit.