Ice Cube thought the idea was perfectly suited to the two of them, a rare high school comedy that focussed on teachers instead of students. Cube says he found inspiration for his role from his own school days. "Yeah, my character is an exaggerated version of a teacher I had named Mr Toussaint," he says. "He was a woodshop teacher and, man, he was pretty mean! He had this afro that he would comb to the front, and he would just yolk people up. He was not playing."

Charlie Day and Ice Cube in Fist Fight

Since the whole movie builds up to the big fight, Cube says the cast and crew had to keep their focus. "It was a lot of pressure to make sure that the fight was epic and that we weren't just doing this funny movie that has a little blip of a fight," he says. "Richie [Keen, the director] wanted to shoot the longest fight ever. We had to choreograph that, and we had a great team who put it together. It took us like three days to even learn the fight and then another eight days to shoot it."

And since the fight involves an axe at one point, Cube wondered if there might be some training involved. "No, no axe-wielding lessons," he laughs. "They bring in a fake rubber axe. You work with that for a while, and when it's time to shoot a close up, you bring in the real deal. But it's heavy, it'll make you sweat!"

Cube says that the film isn't meant to be serious, but he hopes people spot the issues lurking under the comedic surface. "We definitely entertain," he says. "And maybe we can inspire people to pay more attention to the school system or teachers to come up with better techniques. But this is not a movie for that. This is just a movie to have fun and laugh!"

Speaking of serious themes, Cube can't help but remember the controversy over the Oscars last year, when his biopic Straight Outta Compton was snubbed in the acting categories. Is he happy that this year's nominees are much more diverse? "I mean, it's great," he says. "It's cool when people get recognised for good work. But we don't do movies for Oscars, and if you do, you're wrong. You should do movies that can inspire and entertain people. If you do that, then who cares?"

Watch the trailer for Fist Fight: