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Writer and director John Hamburg revealed the nude scene was not in the initial draft but Kevin – who plays stay-at-home dad Sonny alongside Mark’s carefree party pal Huck in the movie – suggested adding it in.
John told The Hollywood Reporter: “What was funny was, that wasn’t in the first draft that Mark read. I remember talking with Kevin, and he was like, ‘I feel like when I meet Mark for the first time face-to-face as guys in their mid-40s, it’s gotta be a bigger moment.’ So I rewrote their meeting and had the idea that Mark is skinny-dipping with all of these twentysomethings who he goes on these parties with – they’re the only people he can muster up to go with him for a few days because they have fewer responsibilities than people his age. I remember sending it to Mark, and obviously, I was nervous that he would respond and maybe not want to do it. But once I described how it would be done and that this wasn’t ‘Boogie Nights’ – it was going to be tasteful – he was on board, and it ended up being a really fun introduction.
“Of course, we’d made sure it was a closed set, and everything was done right. But I think he was a little nervous. That was actually his first day of filming, so we definitely threw him into the deep end, but he was an awesome sport about it.”
And John thinks Kevin and Mark were the perfect people to play Sonny and Huck.
He said: “First, we went to Kevin. He just felt like the perfect person for it. Thankfully, he was interested in doing it, and he had a lot of thoughts because, at the time, it was not a ‘Kevin Hart movie’. He has such a specific and strong voice, and we would just have all these conversations, and he’s riffing and being hilarious and talking about certain situations. Then I did a pretty significant rewrite to make it more in Kevin’s voice.
“Once I did that, and Kevin officially joined, we were thinking about who could play Huck, and Mark was really our one and only choice. We just loved that combination. He and Kevin had wanted to do something but hadn’t been in a movie together. I had seen Mark in so many movies, but I hadn’t seen him play this specific character. Mark has this bravado and can have a larger-than-life personality, but he can be very grounded and sweet. That was important to me in this Huck character.”