In the new comedy Me Time, Kevin Hart plays a stay-at-home dad who comes to the realization that his life has turned far too unadventurous. So when his wife (Regina Hall) takes the kids away for the weekend, Sonny (Hart) finally agrees to reconnect with hard-partying best friend Huck (Mark Wahlberg) for an extravagant birthday expedition.
During pre-production, Hart — who is also a producer on the project — realized Huck needed a better introduction when Sonny arrives. So he tasked writer-director John Hamburg to conceptualize something funnier. Hamburg returned with a scene that included a time-honored visual comedy gag: male nudity. (Or specifically: Wahlberg’s bare backside.)
But the last-minute story tweak meant Hamburg (I Love You, Man) had to deliver the news to Wahlberg, who had already signed onto the movie, no nudity included.
“He committed to the movie, then I rewrote the scene,” explained Hamburg during a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment (watch above). As Sonny arrives at a marina to meet fellow partygoers, Huck turns up and hugs Sonny from behind. Sonny swivels around to find Huck, who’s about to go skinny dipping, completely nude. “He was a little trepidatious, but it was all good.”
It only got worse for Wahlberg, though.
“First day I had [to be] ass naked,” Wahlberg griped. “It was like, ‘Get out there. Twelve hours. On the Long Beach Pier [naked].”
Not only was the nudity added at the 11th hour, but because of scheduling, the crew had to capture the scene on the very first day of production.
“I said, ‘Mark, I’ve got good news and bad news,’” Hamburg recalled. “Good news is we’re going to be in this lovely marina. Bad news, you’ve got to be naked, literally five minutes into joining the set. I promised him we were filming from behind this was not Boogie Nights. And he was awesome. He was a great sport.”
Hart did not see making his co-star get naked on his first day at work as any type of hazing.
“It’s all about making your partners comfortable,” Hart said, before jokingly rattling off a list of demands Wahlberg made on set, including having a horse and carriage.
It was Hart, though, who heavily recruited Wahlberg (who has demonstrated his comedic chops in movies like Ted and The Other Guys) to the film.
“Hamburg and I both referenced Mark’s previous comedy work,” Hart said. “All the comedies that Mark has done, he’s not only stood out, he’s just been grounded. He’s made all the performances believable, no matter how crazy the stuff is that you’re laughing at.”
Like skinny dipping at the Long Beach marina.
— Video produced by Kat Vasquez and edited by Rasiel Guevara
Me Time is now streaming on Netflix.
Watch the trailer: