Comedy first, everything else comes next

Fitness is a big part of Kevin Hart's life and he is collaborating with Nike on a programme to get people exercising.
Fitness is a big part of Kevin Hart's life and he is collaborating with Nike on a programme to get people exercising.PHOTO: LIVE NATION LUSHINGTON

Kevin Hart may have a current hit movie, Ride Along 2, and cross-training shoes named after him, but his career as a comedian is still most important to him

8Q

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart is winning at life.

His new action comedy film, Ride Along 2, knocked the latest Star Wars blockbuster, The Force Awakens, off the top spot of the North American box office last weekend.

Earlier this month, he earned a star on the Miami Walk of Fame and he will be honoured with another on the Hollywood Walk of Fame later this year. The 36-year-old also picked up two awards at the People's Choice Awards 2016 for Favourite Comedic Movie Actor and Favourite Cable TV Actor.

  • BOOK IT/KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW? TOUR

  • WHERE: Hall 601 to 604, Level 6, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre

    WHEN: Feb 2, 8pm

    ADMISSION: $98 to $188 from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)

    INFO: livenationlushington.net

Beyond the silver screen, Hart is on his biggest comedy tour yet, the What Now? Tour. He has been performing across the United States since April last year, and will now tickle the funny bones of fans in 20 cities across Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Singapore will be his only stop in Asia. He will perform on Feb 2 at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

To top it off, he recently debuted his own cross-training shoes, the Hustle Harts, in collaboration with mega sportswear label Nike.

"It's been amazing. I have no complaints," Hart, who is based in Los Angeles, tells The Straits Times in a telephone interview.

He has a 10-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son from a previous marriage. He is engaged to model Eniko Parrish and they will marry on Aug 8.

A fitness buff, he regularly posts photos of himself pumping iron at the gym on his Instagram account, which has a 29-million-strong following.

Collaborating with Nike, he has started the Move With Hart campaign in a bid to inspire fans to get active. One way is to spontaneously invite them to lace up their sports shoes and join him on runs in cities that he visits for a tour.

Despite the alternative career paths and projects he has embarked on, he says that comedy will always be his top priority.

He says: "I'm a comedian first and everything else falls behind that. Comedy has allowed me to break into other (mediums)... so it will always come first."

1 Why is Singapore the only Asian country in the tour line-up?

I had been to Singapore in 2014 on vacation and the reception I had was so amazing. I have never done a show in Singapore, so why not go there?

2 What topics will you discuss during your show in Singapore?

The audience can expect it to be different from what I have done before. More importantly, you can expect to laugh.

I talk about things that are truthful to me that people can relate to - relationships, my divorce, my kids and everything. Nothing is off- limits when it comes to myself and I think that's why my fans have grown to love me.

3 You don't typically delve into more sensitive topics such as race and politics. Why not?

It's not my cup of tea. I have prided myself on staying away from certain things throughout my career, so I'm not going to talk about things that don't fit my comedy style.

4 How would you define your comedy style?

I'm a storyteller with a thought process going. I want to be fierce within my ability. The ability that I have, which I am close to mastering, is about being able to observe and recreate moments that I have lived.

5 You have starred in television shows and movies. Is there any other career path you want to try out next?

Nah, this is it. I have found my calling and this is what I love.

6 What has been the highest point in your career?

This world tour. Selling out shows and performing to packed stadiums. It's been amazing.

7 Fitness is a big part of your life and you organise impromptu runs with fans in the US while on tour. Why?

It's just another thing I love and my way of promoting a healthy lifestyle... making people see that I put words and actions behind things that some people may assume is hypothetical behaviour.

You have one life, so I want to take care of it and be around as long as I can.

8 How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as a hard worker who dedicated himself to his craft and family.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2016, with the headline 'Comedy first, everything else comes next'. Print Edition | Subscribe