Kevin Hart on his career

Kevin+Hart+during+the+round+table+interview+on+Friday.

Jimmieka Mills

Kevin Hart during the round table interview on Friday.

John Cañamar, Writer

On Friday afternoon, members of The HCC Egalitarian Staff sat down in a round table interview with Kevin Hart, co-star of Josh Gad in the movie The Wedding Ringer.

The setting was intimate with eight members from various media outlets in Houston, Hart and Gad.

Hart was laid back and welcomed all questions regarding his career and the film.

Q. “How do you decide on what projects to take on?”

A. “I am now at a point in my career where offers are coming in. I want to evolve and show growth, not only in a project, but [with] my talent. When I take on a project, I want to challenge myself.”

Q. “How has performing live help you in your performances on film?”

A. “[With] live shows I love the immediate reaction. I’m trained; it’s like being in the gym. I have been in it for so long that anything pertaining to comedy, [is] putting me in the element where I can be funny or react or improvise. This is what I do on a regular basis. I feel like I am always going to win in those situations. When you are constantly tooling your craft, you become sharp, so when you work with other actors and actresses that are working just as much, it’s a snap back and forth.”

Q. “Who was the one person that gave you that Ah-ha moment in that you realized “I have this in me” and how did you apply it in the movie?”

A. “First off, I think you get that yourself. I think you could be in ah and envy of what other people are doing and you can realize that these people are accomplishing goals that they set out to do and that they are opening up doors. The Ah-ha moment comes from me setting a goal, accomplishing that goal and going “Oh shit!” Yo, I‘m going to set another goal. Oh shit. I did it again. Let me set another one. Oh shit! This is a pattern. If I put my all and I put 100 percent in my craft, into me, this is [the] return I will continue to get. That’s my Ah-ha moment. Looking at those before me, other comedians who have done so much, it’s more of saying they showed me a blueprint. I can follow that blueprint. Why not follow the blueprint that has already worked?”

Q. “So when are you satisfied?”

A. “That will take some time. I’m in love with the possibility of having it all. I have surrounded myself with great people and the conversations I’ve had stay with me. Oprah [Winfrey] told me, “Kevin, you are constantly challenging yourself because you are trying to be the best version of yourself.” She said I had that disease. Some people want a challenge, some people want to do more and grow, some people are business minded to conquer all and have all. Not because they are greedy, just because that becomes a hobby in trying to be great. I want to be great. When it’s all set and done, I want people to say, ”Kevin Hart was great.” When you look at Jay Z and you look at where he came from and where he is now, he is great. God, he won’t stop. He keeps doing something, always evolving and doing something. I don’t see myself being comfortable when I have people like that who our conquering and killing it all. What is my excuse for saying “I’m done”? ”Oh I got it. Look at me! I made it.” That would make me look stupid.”

The Wedding Ringer movie poster.

The Wedding Ringer movie poster.

Q. “In live performances, you get to see the crowds’ reaction. How much is improvised in the film without instant reaction?”

A. “So much, I think that is when you get the best of me. Of course, you respect the people who put all their hard work, blood, sweat and tears into the project being the director and the writer. You make sure you do what’s on the page and you give them that. If you have a good relationship with your director, after you bring what they want you should be able to show and to play and bring up ideas. Josh and myself had tons of ideas. It was always about making the characters better; it was never about just being funny. “Hey! In this scene I’m gonna wipe my ass; it’s going to be crazy.” Not cheap comedy.”

Q. “Are we going to see more comedian collaborations?”

A. “In the perfect world, yes. Right now, that’s what I’m doing, as a C.E.O. as a guy who has a production company, it’s creating things that can put that into place. The thing is with comedians, you have some guys that have their head on their shoulders right and some that don’t. It’s about getting the people who are willing to all come in as one and be on the same level and just make a good movie. At the end of the day, I would like to do our version of “Harlem Nights”, our version of “Boomerang” our version of “School Days”. There are so many things that you can put into place and we all can win, but I think it takes a real strong mindset to realize to get those great projects, everybody has to take three steps backwards and to say “let’s just be about the project” so we can say we did this for our generation.”

Q. “Who is your best man going to be?”

A. “My son, my 7-year-old son Hendrix.”

The one nugget to take from this interview is that Kevin Hart is a very passionate about his craft and there will be many more projects that he will put his all into making them great.