Even in Singapore, actor-comedian Kevin Hart cannot run away from the Oscars So White controversy surrounding the upcoming Academy Awards.
Speaking to the media at Universal Studios Singapore on Tuesday (Feb 2) while on a press trip for his upcoming buddy-cop film Ride Along 2, the 36-year-old acknowledges that the lack of diversity at the annual awards show is an issue.
But he says: "I'm not in the business for an Oscar. I didn't sign up to be a comedian or an actor to eventually win an Oscar."
That is not the stamp of success Hart is looking for in his career. Instead, he says: "I'm in it for the fanfare. The biggest Oscar you can receive is support."
The multi-hyphenate star is probably one of the hardest working men in American showbiz. He arrived in Singapore from Antwerp, Belgium, doubling up his movie press trip here to do his stand-up comedy show for his What Now? tour this evening at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. Singapore will be his only stop in Asia.
He has a 10-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son from a previous marriage, and is engaged to model Eniko Parrish.
The silver screen has kept him busy. The actor is also starring in action-comedy Central Intelligence alongside Dwayne Johnson.
While other comedians such as Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy neglected their stand-up careers once they hit the big time in Hollywood, Hart insists that no matter how big his movies get, "stand-up comedy is always first" for him.
He says: "I've been breaking all sorts of records on this tour, and selling out arenas around the world. Will I duplicate this success again in comedy? Who knows?"
He says that stand-up comedy, where he gets to "go and love (his) craft", almost acts as his therapy.
"The stage is my place to speak. It's where I get whatever I've been going through off my chest."
He adds: "The day that I bottle that up, is probably the day that Kevin Hart goes crazy."
Ride Along 2 opens in cinemas on Feb 25.