With a successful career in standup, many successful films under his belt, not to mention a NY Times bestseller, Kevin Hart is now adding video game star to his resumé, in the new mobile game, Gold Ambush, from Pinxter Digital. The game, which is available for Android and iOS devices, actually combines two of Hart’s favorite pastimes — gaming and running. We caught up with the workout fiend in New York City to find out how fitness drives his success.
What’s it like seeing your digital avatar in Gold Ambush?
At first they had my head a little lopsided, which was a conversation. You know, we had a talk about that. They had me looking like an octagon in the face. So once we smoothed that out and got my shoulders and stuff right, I said my character needs to basically look like me. If you notice his chest and arms are huge and he has little legs. That’s what I suffer from in real life, so I was fine with that. I felt that that was pretty accurate.
Gold Ambush features a video game character that does a lot of running. That’s something you have in common. How did you fall in love with running?
I definitely wasn’t a runner in school. I think in my older age I found that running was therapeutic. I’ve never seen a therapist. I don’t feel like I would, or like I have to, because of running. I go and I run and I’m literally in a space where I’m clearing my head. It’s you against yourself, and you can constantly challenge yourself to do more. And that’s what I do when I’m running. That quiet time that you hear that breathing, you’re hearing your feet hit the pavement of the street. To me, that’s the most comforting sound in the world. I think that it’s done amazing things for me, and just simply making me feel like I’m at one with myself for lack of a better work or description.
How do you use social media to encourage fans to run or work out?
The running started with me tweeting where I was going to run and having people meet me there. And it grew from 200 to 700 to 1,000 to 2,000 to 5,000 to even bigger. So yes, social media has definitely helped. It’s definitely put me in a position where I can reach my fan base directly and get a response directly.
How has spending time with and co-starring with Dwayne Johnson impacted your own workout routine?
It hasn’t. I’m levels above him, so that’s that.
Could you take us through a typical workout regimen?
I wake up. I take a morning pooh. I get dressed. Aand before leaving the house I sometimes have to double back to the bathroom because I find that I’m not I’m not done, so it’s like a double morning pooh. And then I hit the gym. Normally I take a little mile warm-up in the morning and do some stretching and then I hit the weights. Oh, yeah. I hit the weights. And when I’m done hitting the weights, then I’m done. Yeah. That’s my routine.
You recently teamed up with Usain Bolt to promote PokerStars.com. If you had gold Pumas how would you do competing with Usain Bolt in a street race?
I would never have gold Pumas, I’m a Nike guy. My sneakers are way better, so I can’t even answer that question.
How good are you at reading people around a poker table?
I’m getting better. I think that it’s something that can only grow as you play more and as you’re around different individuals or the same individuals. You just progress, so ultimately it just gets bigger and better.”
What's the secret to making poker fun?
Enjoying yourself. Actually being at a table and laughing, communicating, talking, not being afraid to smile, doing everything that the German poker players don’t do.”
You’re always talking about NBA 2K on social media. What advice would you give to someone picking up the new NBA 2K18 game?
The best tip in 2K? Play the game the way the game is supposed to be played. That’s where people mess up in 2K; when they don’t play real basketball. The real people play real basketball, run plays, pick-and-rolls, call your sets, defenses, make sure you switch your line-ups ahead of time. Put it so your guys don’t get tired early. Actually sub out. You got to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. That’s why I’m the best.
Speaking of being the best, are we going to see you in another NBA All-Star Game?
All-Star game... I cannot comment on my whereabouts as a four-time MVP. I retired, and you know this conversation is going around, but it’s just tough. It’s a lot for me to even think about because my career was such an amazing one.