Kevin Hart has made a business out of making fun of Kevin Hart. Other people do it, such as Ice Cube and every other actor in the new “Ride Along 2.” And Hart has done it as well, in his standup act and in his ability to let everyone point out his flaws. But Hart thinks that’s a sign of strength, not weakness. Hart talks to us about the sequel to 2013’s hit “Ride Along” and why he's all about Twitter.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you get beat up a lot more here than you have in previous films.
[Laughs] A little bit, yeah.
How often are you doing those falls yourself?
I try to as much as I can. Some get a little crazy, and the stunt guy steps in. But I like to do it, because it helps me get into character and into the mood of the scene.
Every character also abuses you verbally. You’ve long used self-deprecation as part of your act. That’s sometimes seen as a weakness, but it can be argued that that’s a strength.
Exactly. You use self-deprecation when you’re not afraid to talk about certain things that are being said. You’re addressing it first. You address things first and then show that you’re confident about being able to talk about whatever those things are.
You’ve exclusively done comedies, but do you see yourself trying something new? Is it too early for, say, a drama?
That’s going to happen, but I’m not in a rush. I’m not trying to conquer it all in one day. There’s a road, and it’s a long road, and you don’t want to force things to happen that aren’t supposed to happen yet. It happens when it happens. Right now I’m enjoying this. I’m enjoying making people laugh at a time when the world needs it. Hopefully it puts me in the position of doing something positive.
You’ve long been active on social media. Have you changed your approach as your fame has increased?
No. Within our generation, this is what we need. People love the fact that actors and entertainers are available on social media, that you can answer questions, that they can get immediate answers back. That’s something special and unique that only social media provides.
So having more exposure hasn’t made you rethink how you interact with your fans?
I have the same approach. I’m myself, and I think being myself has put me in the position I’m in today. The moment you change that is when you veer away from what made you who you are. I don’t want to do that. I’m accessible, I’m available. You only do that to a certain point, though. You don’t want them bugging you or your family. There’s a balance. You’re giving them enough access to show you’re just as human as they are. That’s what I do social media for.
Long before “Ride Along” came around, you had a few appearances in the “Barbershop” TV show. Did you get a chance to meet Cube then?
No. Our relationship was all in passing, us saying “hi”s and “hello”s. When we finally met for real, we never talked about business. It was just two guys who had mutual respect for each other. We crossed paths when we were supposed to.