Kevin Hart can relate to diaper disasters, blowouts, crying babies from new dramedy ‘Fatherhood’

·5 min read

Kevin Hart came ready for "Fatherhood."

In telling the true story of father Matt Logelin, who wrote about raising his daughter on his own following his wife's death after childbirth in "Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love," Hart was able to tap into his own parenting skillset. He is dad to four children: daughter Heaven, 16, and son Hendrix,13, whom he shares with his first wife Torrei Hart and son Kenzo, 3, and Kaori, 8 months, whom he shares with his current wife Eniko Parrish.

Kaori, was born in September, after "Fatherhood" was wrapped.

"I have real-life ammunition having four kids," says Hart, 41, speaking over Zoom from Budapest, Hungary. "You're going in with a bunch of tools in the shed."

This parenting expertise not only helps to feel the emotions a single father goes through, but gives believability to the actual toil of a beleaguered caregiver.

Here's how Hart stacks up in key parenting categories compared to his screen character, Matt, in "Fatherhood" (streaming on Netflix).

Diaper changing struggles are real

Matt has initial difficulties mastering the diaper changes for Maddy. These troubles were easy to portray for Hart, who admits to botching diaper jobs to keep from getting future assignments.

"I'm not that great at it," says Hart of diaper duty. "What I've learned to do is butcher it. I'll put the diaper on backwards or not snap it properly. You got to do something crazy so that it just looks like you're not paying attention. Then they'll snatch the baby from me, like, 'Give me the baby.'"

Diaper ineptitude allows Hart to pass the duty on by default. "Let me just leave it up to my wife who seems to have a better handle on it. That's all. Let a more talented individual get in there and get the job done."

This doesn't work all the time, he admits.

"At the end of the day, when she puts her foot down. I gotta be there," says Hart, who flags the effort when conscripted. "When I am going, I'm going, but I make sure that my time is felt when I'm there."

Those diaper blowout jokes are funny because they’re true

A memorable "Fatherhood" scene, that leads off the trailer, features Matt crashing into a single parent support group to lament his baby's powerful intestinal problems. "She can hit you with a streamer, or she'll buckshot you," he says.

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Hart has felt this pain.

"I've definitely had a nice little projectile moment," says Hart. "Probably the craziest is when my oldest daughter, when she was like 4. Fell asleep and had an accident on me at the movie theater."

Now Hart admits he hears most of the stories from the front lines from his wife.

"She's been hit a lot," he says. "She's got a lot of stories because right now we're in that potty training phase. But I've stayed accident-free."

Hart is the master of getting babies to sleep

Matt's difficulties getting Maddy to sleep provide drama and comedy. Hart, who promotes the virtues of white noise for sleeping ("all my kids had white noise machines"), has his own sure-fire sleep method: Driving around the block.

"When they're fussy, put the baby in the car seat and just drive around," says Hart. "There's something about the road and ride that always get the kids to sleep."

Director Paul Weitz says that on the real baby-filled "Fatherhood" set, Hart was almost too effective with his soothing skills. For baby crying scenes, an on-set monitor would alert that one of three infant baby actors portraying Maddy was awake in her trailer with her parents.

"He would phone in and say, 'OK, the baby's crying. Let's bring her to set,' " says Weitz. "We'd start the camera rolling. The parent would then hand the crying baby to Kevin. And we'd get (the scene) as quickly as possible."

But Weitz noticed that Hart would quickly calm the child: "Some times he was too good."

"One baby in particular, whenever Kevin would hold her, would fall asleep. And nothing had really been filmed," says Weitz. "It was mayhem."

Hart isn’t a tyrant about cuss words

Matt and best friend Jordan (Lil Rel Howery) have a "Fatherhood" debate about swearing in front of Maddy. This is not a big issue for Hart.

"I'm not going to act like I'm an angel in my house," says Hart. "My kids might hear me cuss. We're not running around the house saying filth, but are there cuss words? Of course."

His stand-up routines and all movies are open game for all kids.

"My kids see everything their dad does," says Hart. "I bring my kids around so they can understand what I do."

Hart brings the kids to work

Actor Kevin Hart (R), his wife Eniko Parish (L) and children Hendrix, Heaven and Kenzo walk the carpet at the 'The Secret Life of Pets 2' premiere in Westwood, California, on June 2, 2019.
Actor Kevin Hart (R), his wife Eniko Parish (L) and children Hendrix, Heaven and Kenzo walk the carpet at the 'The Secret Life of Pets 2' premiere in Westwood, California, on June 2, 2019.

Matt runs into work friction bringing Maddy to work. But Hart is able to bring the family even to remote sets like the Budapest "Ride Along" set, while daughter Heaven is interning at his Hartbeat Productions.

"When you're working with Kevin, you're working with family too," says production partner Bryan Smiley. "Especially in the early days, I would literally be in his living room for a meeting and his toddler boy was coming in and out on a scooter with his friends."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Fatherhood': How Kevin Hart calms babies, avoids dirty diaper duty

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