Kevin Hart bursts through the door of the Outlaws Boxing Gym in advance of his interview for the March 2015 issue ofÂ Men’s Health, drops his bag on the cement floor, and starts undressing.
He doesn’t have time for things like locker rooms and privacy. He’d rather change into his workout clothes at the front door, which at this place”a tiny club in L.A.’s Tarzana neighborhood”is being guarded by a very confused shih tzu.
Boxers (the human kind) walk past Hart and do double takes. A few stop to say hello or give him a high five. None of them acknowledge that Hart is in his underwear.
“It’s about understanding your brain, you know?” he says of comedy. “Everything you do should be about elevating your brain. It’s not about doing things just to do them. Everything should have a purpose.”
It’s not clear what any of this has to do withÂ Get Hard, a movie about a hedge fund millionaire (Will Ferrell) who hires the man who washes his car (Hart) to help him not get raped in prison. But Hart isn’t jumping off this train of thought. “I always want to show that I’m going up, not down,” he says. “I’m not progressing to go backward; I’m always going forward.”
(Kevin Hart andÂ Men’s HealthÂ go way back. Remember when he tried to teach usÂ How To Be Funny? Yeah, not as easy as it looks.)
One word that will never be used to describe Hart is “pensive.” He doesn’t take his time answering a question, carefully considering his words. He just starts talking, and somehow finds his way to a point which is not a criticism. A conversation with Hart is never boring, and he usually ends up saying something profoundly insightful.
“If you stop, or even if you slow down, you’re going to look up and realize that somebody has passed you,” Hart says of his career philosophy, which presumably also applies to his life in general.
“And that’s my fear,” he continues. “It’s the fear of being passed or caught up to, you know? When you get hot, you can choose to stay hot or you can say, ‘I’m going to take some time off now and relax.’ I don’t see the benefit of that. That’s how you get left behind.”
It’s those two sides”the insightful comedy mogul and the clown in his underwear”that make Kevin Hart such an interesting guy.
By Eric Spitznagel