While the title of “Hardest Working Man in Show Business” has been thrown around quite a bit, there’s a good case for comedian/actor/producer, and all-around Renaissance man Kevin Hart. Hart, whose stand up comedy career began not too long after his high school graduation, has definitely worked his way up in the world of comedy, and beyond.
Case in point, even while juggling several film and comedy projects at once (not to mention his work for the emerging headphone company Muzik), when asked for an interview, Hart was swift to jump on board to share his insights on business, comedy, and his newfound interest in tech.
Innovation & Tech Today: In a YouTube video last year, you playfully announced that you were going to make yourself a triple-threat by adding “tech god” to your résumé. What prompted this sudden intrigue with technology, or have you always been interested?
Kevin Hart: I have always been interested in getting into that world. I just wanted to stay patient and find the right opportunity when I finally decided to jump into that space.
I&T Today: I noticed that your latest stand-up special, What Now?, is pretty technologically involved – with projections, screens, special effects, stagecraft. What made you want to enhance this special like this, and what do you think it added to the show?
KH: As my career continues to grow I feel that each special I do should reflect that same growth. I always try to break ground and do things that no other stand up comedian has done. With the production for What Now? it gave the audience a visual of my jokes that words alone couldn’t describe. But I made sure to do it in a way where it wasn’t a distraction to the material.
I&T Today: Your latest special also includes a lengthy cinematic opening that you wrote, featuring, among others, Halle Berry. Of course, you’ve starred in a lot of major comedies over the years. But have you thought about taking on more of a writer/director role in the future?
KH: I have already directed an episode of my BET show Real Husbands of Hollywood. In addition to directing more episodes of that, I definitely want to direct a movie sometime in the near future. As far as writing goes, I have several scripts that I’m currently working on that will be ready for production in the next few months.
I&T Today: It’s well-known that you stay pretty busy. Movies, stand-up, television. People have called you one of the hardest working men in Hollywood. But what’s the key to keeping those creative juices flowing amid all the madness?
KH: I’m very humbled and appreciative of what I have been able to accomplish thus far in my career, but I’m also not a person to sit back and be content with what I have. At the end of the day when it’s all said and done I want the last name “Hart” to be something my kids will be proud of.
I&T Today: I heard you’ve been working with Dwayne Johnson on a new Jumanji film for next year. It seems like you two have good chemistry. How would you describe working with The Rock?
KH: I think me and Dwayne have such great chemistry because we are both two people who consistently push ourselves to be better. So when you combine us both together on the same project it creates a great energy on set. To see how humble he is with the success that he has had is something you don’t normally see in today’s world.
I&T Today: You’ve said before that it was when you embraced a more confessional mode of comedy (allowing you to be you) that you were able to really grow as a comedian. Was there a certain moment, a certain show, where you came to this realization?
I think Laugh at My Pain was when I really began to go deep in to who I was as a person. Before that I only touched on the lighter subjects. Since then I have touched on every aspect of my life, good or bad.
I&T Today: You use a lot of material that some would say makes you more “vulnerable.” How long does it take before the details of your personal life make their way into comedy? Is everything up for grabs eventually?
At this point, everything in my life is fair game for me to talk about on stage.
Kevin Hart’s latest special, What Now?, is now available on www.Netflix.com.
Interview by P.K. French
Make sure to read our profile on Hart here.