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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Kevin Hart sees his star rising with ‘Think Like a Man’ Friday

Kevin Hart is the comedic heartbeat of "Think Like a Man," out April 20. CREDIT: AP

Kevin Hart is the comedic heartbeat of "Think Like a Man," out April 20. CREDIT: AP

Kevin Hart, at the Buckhead St. Regis Hotel earlier this month, was visibly tired. He had just spent the previous night partying at local hotspots the Gold Room and Velvet Room. “Premiere parties. Afterparties. Hosting special events,” he said.

But he wasn’t complaining. His career is on the rise, and he’s excited about being such a central character in “Think Like a Man,” a romantic comedy which hits theaters nationwide Friday and is based on Atlanta comedian Steve Harvey’s best-selling advice book.

“This,” Hart said, “could potentially be my breakout role.”

Within an ensemble cast which includes Gabrielle Union, Taraji B. Henson and Michael Ealy, Hart brings a brash, Chris Tucker-like sensibility to his role as Cedric, a recently divorced man on the prowl.

Hart said his own recent divorce helped inform him about his character.  He said he and his ex Torrei, who have two kids, are working it out. “We’re both adults and we’ve matured a lot,” he said. “We’re not fighting over this and that. I didn’t walk away without taking care of her.”

“Think Like a Man,” he said, focuses on the men’s point of view. “Most romantic comedies are female driven,” he said. In this case, the men spend a lot of time teasing each other, giving (often bad) advice and hitting bars, clubs and basketball courts.

In one scene, Hart challenges several much taller players (many who are actual NBA players) to a game despite the fact he’s only 5 feet 5 inches tall. But don’t take his clowning on the court to mean he doesn’t take his game seriously.

“I’m really pretty good,” he said. “I’m fast!”

Off camera, he said the camaraderie among the male actors came naturally. “Nobody ran off to their trailers between takes,” he said. “We hung out and talked. That’s how we managed to create some really great chemistry.”

Will Packer, CEO of Atlanta-based Rainforest Films, which produced the movie, said he gave Hart plenty of breathing room to improvise during scenes. “Before I cast this film,” Packer said, “I went out and watched Kevin to stand-up in three cities. I wanted to see how he related to people in different parts of the country. I realized that we could anchor our film around him.”

The Philadelphia native started his career doing stand-up comedy. In New York City, he drew  inspiration and advice from the likes of Colin Quinn and Jim Norton, then met bigger stars such as Chris Rock, George Wallace and Jerry Seinfeld. “It’s all in the company you keep,” he said.

He was impressed watching already successful comics like Ray Romano and Tracy Morgan hitting small clubs to work on their craft. Success, he learned, meant hard work.

Early on, Hart said he was creating characters on stage. “That was hurting me,” he said. “I was trying to get laughs instead of naturally doing what I know is funny, which is telling stories about my life and my childhood and as an adult. I do a lot of self deprecation and joke about my flaws. That’s what people love most.”

Last year, he decided to release a stand-up comedy film in theaters, “Laugh at My Pain.” Hart and his business partner Jeff Clanagan funded the movie to the tune of $700,000, a major risk in this day and age of YouTube and ubiquitous Comedy Central specials. But he made back his money and then some because it grossed $7.7 million, an impressive take for this type of movie.

Hart knows to keep his career on full throttle. He is co-producing a film with Seth Rogan about an inter-racial cop buddy team set in the early 1950s. He’s also committed to a “scripted fake reality show” on BET called “House Husbands,” inspired by a popular skit from the BET awards mocking the “Real Housewives” shows.

He’s also planning more stand-up dates later this year and reflecting his rising status, hopes to book Philips Arena in the fall. Just five years ago, he headlined the Punchline (capacity: 270) for the first time.

“The success I’ve been having is unreal,” Hart said. He has a hard time wrapping his head around it” “I don’ t think about it. I don’t want to think about it. I want to maintain a humble mindset.”

Check out the highlights from the Atlanta premiere at the Atlantic Station.


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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

20 comments Add your comment

All The Best

April 18th, 2012
12:38 pm

I wish Mr. Hart all the best. His humor is rather sophomoric for my tastes, but I admire him for pursuing his dreams both in front of the camera and in writing.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Orlando

April 18th, 2012
1:52 pm

He has come a long way and congrats to him for all the success.

Mitzymy

April 18th, 2012
2:29 pm

The clips of the movie are really funny. Sometimes the clips are the best part of movies, but with Kevin I know he will come through as really funny and I will enjoy seeing him on the big screen.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Fan Of This Comedian

April 19th, 2012
1:45 am

Kevin is hilarious!!!!
Can’t wait to see this for a good laugh-

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

KevinHartFan

April 19th, 2012
6:01 am

Love his stand-up, can’t wait to see the movie

NTruble

April 19th, 2012
6:38 am

If you need some good ‘belly laughs’ just put in one of his DVD’s. In the end, you will be laughing so hard that you will be crying your FACE OFF! God has blessed Mr. Hart with an incredible talent. Keep doing what you are doing Kev. Can’t wait to see you in Atlanta!

Mark Hill

April 19th, 2012
7:04 am

Kevin is not that funny. He is somewhat of a minstrel show. Just grinning and cheesing and showcasing foolery. Not a fan. Not a fan, at all.

Hatersarealwaysaround

April 19th, 2012
7:54 am

Why can’t there be one time where someone is just celebrated for what they do? He is funny and if you don’t like him don’t watch him. If you don’t have anything nice to say stay under your rock. I love Kevin Hart and wish him the best. Even if I did not find him funny you have to give kudos to someone who chased his dream and never gave up. Thank you @Allthebest for being honest and keeping it positive.

LG

April 19th, 2012
8:58 am

RH, WHERE is the blog about two black men suing the Bachelor? Looking at those two men’s muggs, they couldn’t qualify for a dog show. Also, I understand why no blacks men as bachelors/bachelorettes: it just will NOT get the viewership, plus the ire will be sure to fly if the “brotha” picks a snow bunny.

LG

April 19th, 2012
8:59 am

Kevin Hart is funny. silly, but funny. I love him in that car commercial at the wedding.

Keeping it real

April 19th, 2012
8:59 am

Why do people read articles about people they don’t like and then talk them down? You have wasted your time reading the article and wasted everyone else’s time talking about how you don’t like them. Mental note to Mark Hill: Next time just say no!

I think Kevin’s comedy is refreshing and funny. Good luck to you Mr. Hart! Have a wonderful journey pursuing your dreams; I hope all of them come true! You’re fantastic!

My Opinion

April 19th, 2012
9:13 am

I’m happy that his career is going well but he doesn’t make me laugh. He is entertaining but I have never been able to laugh at his humor. He is a good actor though.
Good Luck Kev!

Mark Hill

April 19th, 2012
9:29 am

@Keeping it real: This is the United States of America, not the Federation of Communist States. I can read an article and express my disapproval of someone. If you don’t like it, then move. My comments about Kevin will hardly ruin his career. I simply don’t find him that hilarious. You need to relax. The criticism isn’t even about you. Why take it so personally? Oops…that question could open up a can of worms.

Robb

April 19th, 2012
10:13 am

I sometimes wish that the “comments” option wasn’t available for most articles (oops). Too much arguing. KH is a comic beast. Either you like him or not. I never found J Seinfeld to be funny, but about a trillion other people did.

Think Like A Man | NewsTrendr

April 20th, 2012
1:11 am

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Quintricia F Carpenter

April 22nd, 2012
10:34 am

@ Robb, man I couldn’t have said that any better!! Real talk!!