That Time I Interviewed Kevin Hart and He Was Dead-Ass Serious the Whole Time

Kevin Hart Insta

Kevin Hart | photo via Instagram

Comedians are not funny all the time. And I’m not talking about when they’re on stage. I mean in life. You can’t expect a professional funnyman to be hilarious during a casual convo any more than you can bank on a Starbucks employee to whip up a frap’ for you during their off time.

Still, when I interviewed Kevin Hart in 2011 for Entertainment Weekly, just after he shocked Hollywood by investing $750000 in his independent stand-up comedy film Laugh At My Pain and producing it via his Hartbeat Productions company and CodeBlack, then scoring a $2,000,000 box office weekend debut, I expected a couple of jokes when I was set to speak to him about his success and how it all went down.

When he hopped on the phone to talk to me, though, I realized within the first 30 seconds that there’d be no punchlines in this chat. He was anxious to talk about his business acumen. About the groundwork he laid. How he strategized. About the risks that led to the weekend’s gratifying reward.

As you read this, Kevin is having a moment. He just released a sneaker through Nike Yeah, that shoe up there. He’s signed to them as an athlete (those that follow him know this is more than a vanity play. He’s an all-around fitness fanatic that has become a runner over the last two years). They’re dope, too.

And this Friday (July 17) Central Intelligence, his new movie with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, comes out. It’s a good time to be Kevin Hart.

In a recent interview with The Breakfast Club, he spoke, again, about his business savvy. Now not only is he flourishing as comedic actor, but he’s in the early stages of creating a Netflix-esque service for fellow comedians. His blueprint is Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service, which guarantees that artists involved get a bigger piece of the pie when their audiences tune in. Kevin also speaks about putting those around him in positions to succeed (Ex: his personal trainer will now be involved with his Nike endeavors, too).

In his BFC interview, Kevin was “On”–delivering jokes like he was performing and promoting his products like a seasoned salesman. But each time he gets to talking about future endeavors, the showman transforms into some cross between a motivational speaker and goal-driven businessman.

Like my buddy said in that tweet, I could watch Kevin Hart pressers all day. It’s comedy with a heap of real inspirational rap. He always charges up my battery a bit.

Every time I see him speak or do an interview and drop a gem, I always think back to my EW interview from five years ago. We had a great convo. I never laughed. “I’m trying to become a mogul,” Kevin told me. And when I hung up the phone, I thought, “This guy is a comedian, but none of this shit is a joke to him.” It’s still true.

Bonus: Dude just dropped the trailer for his next comedy film What Now?, out in October. He’s funny here.

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