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EXCLUSIVE: Secret Life Of Pets 2 Kevin Hart Talks Captain Snowball, Celebrity, And Parenting

Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 animated film will be hitting theaters on June 7th and our favorite pets along with some newcomers are larger than life! While the pets made their grand entrance in the original animated film, in Pets 2 there’s even more character development and we get a more in depth glimpse into the inner core of what drives and motivates each character. Moms.com recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Kevin Hart who voices Snowball in the franchise.

Snowball, a rebel bunny with a heart of gold, was the breakout star of the first Pets and in Pets 2 his character’s story has a much greater arc. At the end of Pets get adopted by Molly. In Pets 2, viewers get to witness the positive effects of receiving love and a nurturing environment through the storyline of Snowball. Snowball is no longer homeless and his hard veneer has begun to softened as a result we come to see that Snowball has always been a very loving and free-spirited bunny who was only looking for love.

As a result of Molly dressing him in superhero pajamas, he begins to have delusions of grandeur and actually begins to believe that he actually is a superhero, at least until he has to accompany a spunky and fearless Shih Tzu, Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) on a very serious mission that requires real courage.

Snowball has to muster up real courage to help Daisy on a serious mission. In what ways has becoming a parent made you more courageous?

Hart: Oh, that’s a great question. I think the most important, um, the most important level of, of courageousness that I can say that I can talk about is understanding that it's okay to, to tell the truth as a parent, you know, I think, um, a lot of para living, a lot of parents live in this false reality of perception to their kids of what their kids can do and can't do. Um, as if you didn't do some of the same thing. And what I've realized is that life repeats itself. You know, um, assigned for example, was playing with fire one day and you know, whether they're getting mad and going off the handle. I quickly remember when my mom caught me playing with fire because it's what you do. You have kids do stupid stuff. And I've learned that talking to my kids and making them truly process the information helps so much when it comes to discipline, it's saying, hey look, playing with fires and smart, I've done it. I understand why you're doing it. I know it's exciting now, but something dumb can happen so fast and you'll look up and the consequences from it can be so severe that you've lost everything. I keep it transparent. For me, parenting is about being honest.

There are moments within the film where Snowball loses touch with reality, and in a sense forgets who he is. Do you ever discuss with your children the notion of ‘celebrity’?

Hart: My kids, they know who I am. They know how big their dad is within the world of entertainment. But we've been able to ground that perception by the way we carry ourselves. By the way that we communicate. It's not above and beyond all the time. It's very much a home and family environment. We do family stuff. When we go out, I’m very much the regular guy, that's just has a noticeable face. I think that the way that I shut off celebrity and turn it on when I need to holds a great example. And it's so downplayed that when they're out and they see other celebrities, they go off and get excited. Sometimes I have to actually say, “You do know who your dad is right?”

You have many scenes with Tiffany Haddish as Daisy, and I’ve noticed that over the course of her career that you have been loyal and very supportive of her. This is a great trait to teach to kids as well. How have you managed to remain loyal in this industry?

Hart: When you start to grow, your environment constantly changes. And when your environment changes, your mindset is changing per environment. And it's a talent in and of itself to not forget where you’ve come from. It's not easy. It's a talent. It's a talent to not forget and hold on to relationships or to make anybody that you come across feel special and unique and no one name and shake your hand. Because sometimes you just get caught up into what you're doing. Not to say that you don't care, because you do. It’s just you get so caught up in the next stages of life and your growth that you forget that you were supposed to call X, Y, and Z back. But those moments that you're forgetting about are held on to by people and that's one thing that I've realized early on. That is one of the reasons why I'm very adamant about being loyal and I'm as authentic as possible. And I think even with parenting when you look at the beginning of this, the movie between Max and Duke, what I love about this story, because it's, it's, it's rooster telling Max that it's okay to let go and it's okay to feel how you feel, but you don't have to act on every single emotion. Yeah. It's okay to be yourself. He has to remind him that it's okay to be yourself and let go because he saw uptight and he's so, what am I gonna do?

What do your children think of your character Captain Snowball in Pets 2?

Hart: They love the Secret Life of Pets franchise in general, but the whole Snowball persona is a big deal to them. They have their little collector's items that they made me sign. They framed them and everything. So it’s a real thing to them.

Max in Secret Life of Pets 2 is struggling with some serious anxiety and definitely struggles with being a helicopter pet parent. What's your own personal parenting and discipline style?

Hart: I think that I've only had to get stern with my son one time. My daughter is a teenager now so I'm extremely hands on. I'm extremely available, you know? I'm present and when little things happen that require discipline, it's the thought of not thinking them through that makes me overthink it. Even when I get angry, I still explain that they need to learn the lesson behind every experience. We’re going to let this experience be a lesson. I think even when it comes to parenting, when you look at the beginning of this movie at the interactions between Max and Rooster, it's Rooster telling Max that it's okay to let go. That it's okay to feel how you feel, and that you don't have to act on every single emotion. It's okay to be yourself. Rooster has to remind Max that it's okay to be yourself and let go.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 hits theaters on June 7th nationwide.

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