Actor-comedian Kevin Hart doesn't care if he never wins an award
US comedian Kevin Hart says box-office numbers outweigh Oscar nominations anytime
For someone who just got off a 17-hour flight from Antwerp, Belgium, US actor-comedian Kevin Hart is showing zero signs of jet lag.
In fact, the 36-year-old was bursting with energy when he met with local media yesterday and could not stop talking - much like his on-screen persona Ben Barber in Ride Along 2. He plays a rookie cop who annoys the heck out of his partner, Detective James Payton (played by US rapper-actor Ice Cube), while they try to bring down a drug kingpin.
The sequel to the 2014 hit opens here on Feb 25 and Hart could not be happier with its box-office performance.
The buddy cop action-comedy, which also stars Ken Jeong, Olivia Munn and Benjamin Bratt, knocked Star Wars: The Force Awakens off the US box office's No. 1 spot.
Ride Along 2 also trumped the critically acclaimed epic film The Revenant when both movies opened in the US on Jan 15.
Such fantastic commercial results are Hart's "Oscars".
"When moviegoers respond well to my films and they go back for more, that's your reward," he said during an interview at Universal Studios Singapore, seven hours before he performed his stand-up comedy show, What Now? at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
He added: "Of course, there is a lack of diversity in the business, but I'm not in the business for an Oscar."
Hart was weighing in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy over the upcoming Academy Awards, in which all the acting nominees for this year and last year are white.
He said: "I didn't sign up to be a comedian or actor to eventually win an Oscar. That's not the stamp of success for me... I'm in it for fanfare.
"The biggest 'Oscar' you can receive is support."
MULTI-TALENTED: (Above) Kevin Hart with Ice Cube in Ride Along 2.
Looking at the box-office numbers for Ride Along 2, which has made over US$70 million (S$100 million) in the US since its opening, Hart will only get more "Oscar" love in the weeks to come.
It's all good news to Hart, who proclaimed that he is "addicted to winning".
Apart from his wedding on Aug 8 to US model Eniko Parrish, Hart's main goal now is to win more international fans, which is why he is taking his sell-out What Now? stand-up comedy show around the world.
It kicked off in the UK last month.
Singapore is his only stop in Asia, and he will fly to Perth today for the Australian leg.
He explained that his "calling" has been to bring people together under one roof, "where for a brief moment, they can laugh and forget all the bad that's going on in the world".
"People of all races, shapes and sizes can leave with a positive outlook on life, and that's the same thing with my movies."
Hart, who has a 10-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son from a previous marriage, is also looking at expanding his portfolio beyond comedy.
"I'm slowly showing people that I can do action if I want to," he said, alluding to his next movie, Central Intelligence, with Dwayne Johnson, which opens here on June 16.
"I'm a driven person, and I want to live my life to the fullest.
"Once you taste a piece of success, you get addicted. I want to win as much as I can."