The World According to Kevin Hart

The comedian spoke to The Root about performing overseas and his new film, Let Me Explain.

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By doing stand-up, I get the unique opportunity to literally make the best of my situation by being a comedian. Whether it is positive or negative, me being able to address everything and not hiding from it puts things in a different perspective. It allows my fans to know me and respect me a little more.

TR: In the film, the audience gets a chance to share some of your overseas experiences and adventures. What do those experiences mean to you?

KH: I was dumbfounded at the fact I was doing comedy overseas.

To have started with small audiences and to have grown to selling out shows and arenas, I just laugh. I laugh because it's universal. My comedy appeals to everyone, all colors, shapes and sizes, and that is important to me. You can't tell jokes all over the world if people can't relate to what you are saying. At the end of the day everybody loves to laugh. If you can provide that gift, it is a great thing. It's not about race; it's about laughter, and that's what I love the most.

TR: During your incredible journey, what have you learned about yourself and your brand?

KH: I understood how powerful my impact on social media is. Other celebrities and people take that lightly. I don't think they understand how powerful it is. From the click of a button, you can reach the world. When I went overseas for this tour, all I kept hearing was, "Oh, my God, I love you on YouTube!" "Oh, I follow you on Twitter!" "Oh, your Instagram," "I love seeing the pictures your posting!" I learned my fan base is loyal. By me tweeting and posting to Facebook and Instagramming, I am reachable, and I love that.

I think it brings down the whole hype of fame. People relate to that and watch on a day-to-day basis. These are fans, but they genuinely love and appreciate you, and they watch and follow you. I love the fact my fans have that access to me and that I go back and forth with them. Going overseas definitely lets me know that I have a major impact and that I should not ever take that for granted. People rely on me, and I will never get too relaxed and not care about my loyal fans that support me the most.

TR: What is one of the challenges that you learned from as your success continues to grow? What is your overall goal for yourself?

KH: My most challenging thing now is to understand that I'm a business and a brand. When people invest in your brand, there are certain things you cannot take lightly. Your behavior, the way you carry yourself, how you talk to people, your overall presentation. These are all watched on a day-to-day basis, and as a brand you have to be aware of it. 

It is easier to not care, but you can destroy everything you worked for and spent so much time building and shaping at the drop of a dime. If people do not take me seriously, then my company won't be taken seriously. For me it is about becoming a business and becoming a mogul. It's about being a great representation of myself and my company, HartBeat Productions. I want to stand for more than just stand-up comedy.

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