In Kevin Hart’s latest book, I Can’t Make This Up, Hart explained that early in his career how he struggled to make it into Hollywood.
Hart explains that he was told by casting directors that he was either “ too young, too old, too good-looking, too ugly, too urban, not urban enough, or “just not what we’re looking for in this role.”” Ultimately, he says he couldn’t get any work in Hollywood.
But, it wasn’t until he had a meeting with a room full of talent agents pitching him movie he should apply for that he made a realization, which ultimately changed his career.
He explained that he changed his mainframe and started “going to auditions with the intention of not getting this role, but the next role. To make an impression, I’d pop right away: “Hey, guys, what’s happening? How’s it been going so far? Am I the first black guy you’ve seen?”
He used his comedic skills to his advantage. For example, Hart would “point to the guy who was lowest in the pecking order in the room: “If I don’t get the part, I’m blaming it on Ray right there.””
Hart explains that his goal was to break the tension and get them laughing, but without trying too hard. He would still work on getting into character and the part. But, if the role was not for him, he would still show up and share how he prepared and what he is capable of. “ I’d mix it up and play the character in ways that weren’t right for the film, just to show them that I had different levels,” Hart explained in his book.
“I almost always got a callback, and to this day, I’m still close with a lot of those people. The leading actors in Hollywood may change, but the players behind the scenes often remain the same. Even though they didn’t give me parts at the time, some of them ended up giving me great roles later,” Hart added.
To wrap it all up, Kevin Hart explained his best piece of acting advice. “So treat each moment like a seed, and care for it so that something beautiful can grow from it. That Ray kid you joked around with when he was just starting out may become a studio head ten years later, and will remember that you noticed him and treated him special.”What do you think? Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.