Call it the year of Kevin Hart.
With a packed schedule of sold-out stand-up specials and several hit films under his belt, the 34-year-old comedian and actor no doubt earned his "Entertainer of the Year" title from last month's NAACP Image Awards -- and Hart seems to have no intention of slowing down. He currently has four more projects in the works, including the sequel to "Think Like a Man," on top of his job starring in, writing and producing a hit television series. Some may describe Hart's seemingly sudden rise to fame as meteoric, but Hart says it's just the opposite.
On a rare day off, Hart sits down with Oprah for an interview on "Oprah Prime" in which he talks about his skyrocketing career and the reality of finding success in Hollywood.
"Hollywood has a way of making everything seem like an overnight success," Hart explains. "[But I've had] 18 years in the business. I put in my time. I got dues that have been paid and paid again and paid one more time after that. I stayed true to my dreams and, eventually, they came true."
Yet, as Oprah points out, there are many hard-working people eager to break into the business and find success. Why was Hart able to do it while many others can't?
"The difference in me is that I paid attention to what people did before me, whether it was right or wrong," Hart says. "Everybody that's successful lays a blueprint out."
Not only did Hart pay attention, but even today, he literally surrounds himself with reminders of those who came before him, from Eddie Murphy to Chris Rock to Richard Pryor. Comedians he considers mentors appear in pictures and paintings on the walls of his home.
"I come down these steps every day, I look at Richard. He was great. I see Eddie, he was great. I see Chris Rock, he was great," Hart says. "It's a constant reminder: What am I trying to achieve? I want to be great."
This unwavering motivation is why Hart believes he had made it in Hollywood. "What separates me is my drive," he says. "My drive is other people's success."