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Kevin Hart Explains How He Flips the White Savior Narrative in The Upside

Months before his Oscar tweet debacle, The Root sat down with Kevin Hart to discuss his forthcoming film, The Upside, which is based on a true story that was adapted into a 2011 French film, The Intouchables.


If you check out the film, expect a feel-good movie where Hart plays the character of Dell, an ex-con who is down on his luck. Dell stumbles upon a paralyzed billionaire Phillip, played by Bryan Cranston, and becomes his live-in aide. There are several funny moments, but this film certainly takes a more serious tone than one might expect from a Kevin Hart movie.

The Upside has a somewhat predictable plot but it sort of flips the “white savior” narrative on its head. Here’s the thing: This super-wealthy white man is completely dependent on the people who surround him. So Dell becomes his lifeline and, in essence, the savior.


And, if you’re wondering, yes, Kevin Hart can act.

The Upside is in theaters on Friday, Jan. 11.

Afro-Cuban woman that was born and branded in New York. When León isn't actually creating cool videos, she's thinking of cool videos that she can create.

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No, this has been done many times before. Sometimes the outcome is good; sometimes awful, however, the black character is always an ex con or recovering addict or just plain down on their luck while the white character is handicapped, ill or just old. To flip it would make the white character the ex con or recovering drug addict or gang member .