Netflix’s Fatherhood is out later this week on Friday, June 18. Directed by Paul Weitz the film follows an emotional true story about a widower who has to take on single parenthood unexpectedly after his wife dies the day after giving birth. It’s based on Matthew Logelin’s memoir Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love. The film stars comedy superstar Kevin Hart in the lead role, Melody Hurd (Them), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), DeWanda Wise (She’s Gotta Have It), Anthony Carrigan (Barry), and Paul Reiser (Mad About You).
Ahead of its streaming release, ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese talked to Fatherhood stars Reiser and Carrigan about their roles, the reliability of the script, and Hurd’s fantastic performance. Check out the video interview or the full transcript below:
Tyler Treese: Paul, you’ve had so many iconic roles in father-based comedies, and you wrote the great book, Babyhood. In this role, you get to play the guy that has sort of seen it all when it comes to kids rather than the struggling parent. Did it feel like your career has kind of come full circle with this?
Paul Reiser: I never thought of it like that. I think now as an actual father of two Americans in their twenties, it feels very natural to be talking to about parenting. So it was a very comfortable place. Kevin Hart, I had never met Kevin, which is crazy. I always think comics all know each other, but I never really crossed paths. It was so easy to jump into. He’s a dad himself. So he was acting more than I was because he had to pretend he doesn’t know what he’s doing. It was just very easy to fall into that role. I’m certainly older than Kevin. So it felt really comfortable. It was great as I kind of anticipated, it was going to be just great to just bat the ball around with him. There’s a reason he’s a very, very big star. He’s really good.
Anthony, you’ve done a great job playing some really iconic villains the past couple of years, but you just get to be a goofy friend in Fatherhood. Was the role of Oscar a nice change of pace for you?
Anthony Carrigan: It was a great change of pace. It was really refreshing to not have to be plotting anyone’s demise. I mean, honestly, just having such wonderful co-stars to kind of play with and improvise lines with was very refreshing. Especially my scenes with Kevin Hart and Lil Rel Howery, we had the best time.
Paul, there are some really interesting conversations in the film about the challenges of balancing a career and putting your children first, you know, as an entertainer and a father yourself, you know, I’m sure that’s something you had to deal with. How easy was it to relate to this role and how realistic are these conversations we saw?
Reiser: Oh, they’re really realistic. You know, I think it’s a real universal thing. If you have the luxury of having children and a home life and a career, blessed to have all of those things. The balancing is always tricky. I remember when my first son was born, my oldest one was born, I was in the middle of doing Mad About You. It was writing about that, about being a parent, and I was sitting in the office, not going home, but sitting and writing about, “Oh, it’s all important to be here for the baby.” I should probably go home to my actual baby. It’s easy to fall into the trap of talking about it, writing about it. It’s not easy to just go actually walk the walk. I get home and walk away from work and do what you gotta do. It’s a neverending challenge.
Anthony, you shared some lovely scenes with Melody Hurd in the film and the poker scenes are so cute in particular. How impressed were you with both her natural acting ability and just how funny she was?
Anthony: I mean, honestly, she’s got such a bright future ahead of her. You know, when you see those actors who are like, “Oh wow, they’ve got it,” and it’s to the point where you’re taking notes, being like, “Wow, how are you so free? How are you so loose?” Like we [gotta] know what’s your secret? But yeah, she’s really got something special and it’s certainly a wonderful showcase, this movie.
Paul: So, how old is she in real life?
Anthony: I think… Gosh, I’m not sure, actually.
Paul: 42. That’s why she’s so good.
Anthony: It all makes sense now.