Success is never guaranteed, especially in Hollywood. Few stars know this better than comedian Kevin Hart, who has worked in the entertainment industry for years before having a chance. The Philadelphia native, who made his debut in amateur comedy competitions, has seen many projects fail before his star. really started to shine. Sometimes it takes luck, sometimes it takes hard work, and sometimes you have to accidentally bump into producer Will Packer at an airport.

Kevin Hart recently appeared on an episode of the Showtime podcast All the smoke, hosted by NBA stars Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. Between his talks about his upbringing in Philadelphia and his love for the NBA, Kevin Hart reflected on his slowness reach the top. According to Jumanji: the next level star, he faced several disappointments early in his career:

You get a deal, that’s supposed to be it. You get a TV show, a TV show is picked up, I’m about to be a star, here it is. The fucking show is dropped while I’m at the Upfronts… This moment is over. Then Soul Plane arrives. Soul Plane that’s it, here it is. Soul Plane is hacked. What the fuck is going on? It’s over, we don’t give him any chance. It was my star movie, my star TV show, both failed. I went back to stand-up, I stuck with the role, my numbers got big.

Luckily for Kevin Hart, his efforts paid off. In a classic Hollywood Discovery story, Kevin Hart accidentally bumped into film producer Will Packer at an airport – and it turns out that Kevin Hart’s work in the field of comedy put him on the radar of Packer. Kevin Hart described the moment of career change:

I saw Will Packer at the airport. Again, fucking accidental success. I happened to be coming while Will Packer was leaving. At the time, Will Packer made Stomp The Yard. I think he did Takers… and he got another one, he got one more than he did… And he said, ‘Dude, I have a movie for you. I’ve heard about everything you do on the road and comedy, I have a movie called Think Like A Man. Keep in mind, I did all of these little guest spots in these movies, but nothing sticks, Along Came Polly, Scary Movie 3, 4, I’m just in trouble. It’s not like I’m an actor in it, I’m just in it. I go back to comedy.

While it must have been tempting for Kevin Hart to stick to his comedic comfort zone, lucky he didn’t: the comedy produced by Will Packer Think like a man was a box office success and launched Kevin Hart into the Hollywood stratosphere. Of his long-awaited success, Kevin Hart said:

Think Like A Man becomes the biggest hit of all time and I jumped into the movie. I had a great cast and this cast set me up, sending me lobs. (It was in my prime, I was about 5.5 feet 4 and a half when I was making this movie.) But, you know, we had a great cast… this movie, it blew… all of a sudden people think Kevin Hart is the guy. I’ve been here for a long time, didn’t come out of nowhere, but now Will Packer says he has another movie for me.

With a CV full of hits and full of plans for the future, it seems Kevin Hart’s career was worth the wait. His upcoming movies include Borders alongside Cate Blanchett and Toronto man with Woody Harrelson and Kaley Cuoco. For more 2021 movie releases, check out CinemaBlend’s guide here.

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