The coronavirus pandemic has kept Kevin Hart, his wife and four kids inside together — and he says it’s given him a new appreciation for his family.
In an interview with USA TODAY Monday, the comedian, 41, said lockdown “shined a light” on his loved ones and gave him the time to reconnect with them.
“Through the pandemic, I was able to truly tap into fatherhood. Tap into the role of a husband more, because I’ve never been home this long ever. Ever! Because of my job, I’ve never been home for this many weeks — or weeks, period,” he said. “Never have I been able to eat dinner with my family and talk to my family as much as I’ve been able to through the course of this pandemic, and it made me just realize some of the things that I missed, some of the things that I didn’t put as much value on that I probably should.”
Hart spent weeks in Toronto toward the end of 2020 filming “The Man from Toronto,” directed by Australian Patrick Hughes (“The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” “The Expendables 3”) with co-stars Woody Harrelson, Ellen Barkin and Kaley Cuoco. Now back home with his family, Hart is collaborating with the meditation app Headspace for a series of mindfulness-focused content, says his family has adjusted to the challenges of quarantine by sticking together.
“The way for me and my family to adjust was to just lean on one another in this time and try our best to be supportive of one another and try our best to be aware of each other’s minds — constantly checking in, ‘How you doing? You OK? How you feeling? If it’s down, well what can we do to pick it up?’ “ he said. “It was just making sure that we were all engaging and not giving one another an opportunity to fall down or slip and fall through the cracks.”
Hart, whose Headspace collab includes a “Meditate With Me” episode and “Mindful Runs” interactive where viewers are guided on a virtual run with the comedian, says his kids have also taken part in his fitness routines. Son Hendrix, 13, accompanies him on morning workouts before virtual school in the morning, and his daughter Heaven, 15, joins in at times as well.
“I normally start at about 5:00, 5:30, and he just started saying, ‘I want to get up, I want to work out with you, dad,’” Hart explained, adding that his kids’ interest in health is something he’s “extremely proud of them for.”
“It’s something that’s not being forced. I don’t force it on my kids, so for them to take a liking to it and sticking to it, that’s a big deal,” he added.
In addition to running, Hart says he enjoys other at-home cardio workouts, like exercising on a rowing machines and biking, but says he’ still dealing with some lingering issues following the September 2019 car crash that left him hospitalized for days.
“It’s a back injury, so you’ll have your good days and you’ll have your bad days where you’ll be real sore, but I think that I’m probably 97 per cent? Ninety-six per cent? There’s still another three or four per cent that every once in a while you’re reminded like, ‘Oh yeah, I hurt my back, let me just slow down for a second,’” he said. “But it’s good! I’m in a great space, I’m lucky to be where I am physically. I’m lucky to be walking and be alive in general, so I don’t take any of this for granted.”
Hart, who played a man caring for a quadriplegic accident victim in 2017’s “The Upside,” added the crash made him realize “how everything can end at the blink of an eye.”
“(It was) an eye-opening experience of realizing you’re not in control, flat out. You may think you’re in control, but you’re not,” he said, adding that he now tries to take “every second of my life and truly be thankful for it … Life is very precious.”