You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kevin James

Actor, 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop'

Kevin James cultivated a sizable following over nine seasons on CBS’ “The King of Queens,” but it took a sleeper rent-a-cop comedy to boost the lovable character actor to movie-star status. Released in the doldrums of January, the PG-rated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” plastered James’ mug on billboards across the country and took in a surprise $146 million in the U.S. alone.

“It was a natural time for him to emerge,” says Columbia exec Sam Dickerman, a producer on the film, who credits James’ performances in “Hitch” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” along with the sitcom, as indicators of James’ potential. “When you’re watching Kevin, you connect with his everyman underdog persona. Paul Blart was the perfect character to fit those qualities.”

And for any who doubted James’ appeal, Seth Rogen mall-cop comedy “Observe and Report” (which mustered only $24 million) proved it was more than just the concept that lured auds.

Keeping busy, James has since reteamed with Adam Sandler in “Grown Ups,” a summer 2010 release also produced by Columbia, after which he voices the title role in the MGM live-action feature “The Zookeeper.” And don’t rule out a “Paul Blart” sequel. “We would love to do it,” Dickerman confides.

More Scene

  • NMHC Impact Awards

    Aubrey Plaza, NHMC President Call Out Under-Representation of Latinos at Impact Awards

    Kevin James cultivated a sizable following over nine seasons on CBS’ “The King of Queens,” but it took a sleeper rent-a-cop comedy to boost the lovable character actor to movie-star status. Released in the doldrums of January, the PG-rated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” plastered James’ mug on billboards across the country and took in a […]

  • 'Seven Seconds' TV show premiere

    Regina King Talks Heaviness of Role in 'Seven Seconds'

    Kevin James cultivated a sizable following over nine seasons on CBS’ “The King of Queens,” but it took a sleeper rent-a-cop comedy to boost the lovable character actor to movie-star status. Released in the doldrums of January, the PG-rated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” plastered James’ mug on billboards across the country and took in a […]

  • UnReal Athena Film Festival

    How Trump Beating Clinton Impacted the Gender Politics of 'UnReal' Season 3

    Kevin James cultivated a sizable following over nine seasons on CBS’ “The King of Queens,” but it took a sleeper rent-a-cop comedy to boost the lovable character actor to movie-star status. Released in the doldrums of January, the PG-rated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” plastered James’ mug on billboards across the country and took in a […]

  • 'Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and

    'Unsolved' Stars Point Out Racial Injustice in Biggie and Tupac Murder Cases

    Kevin James cultivated a sizable following over nine seasons on CBS’ “The King of Queens,” but it took a sleeper rent-a-cop comedy to boost the lovable character actor to movie-star status. Released in the doldrums of January, the PG-rated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” plastered James’ mug on billboards across the country and took in a […]

  • Taura Stinson, Common, and Diane WarrenVariety

    Common, Pasek and Paul, Diane Warren Reveal Inspiration Behind Oscar-Nominated Songs

    Kevin James cultivated a sizable following over nine seasons on CBS’ “The King of Queens,” but it took a sleeper rent-a-cop comedy to boost the lovable character actor to movie-star status. Released in the doldrums of January, the PG-rated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” plastered James’ mug on billboards across the country and took in a […]

  • 'Game Night' film premiere

    'Game Night': Director, Writer Talk 'Straddling Genres' and the Influence of 'Get Out'

    Kevin James cultivated a sizable following over nine seasons on CBS’ “The King of Queens,” but it took a sleeper rent-a-cop comedy to boost the lovable character actor to movie-star status. Released in the doldrums of January, the PG-rated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” plastered James’ mug on billboards across the country and took in a […]

  • Esquire 'Mavericks of Hollywood' party

    Terry Crews on His Sexual Assault Lawsuit: 'If I Don’t Get Justice, Nobody Can'

    Kevin James cultivated a sizable following over nine seasons on CBS’ “The King of Queens,” but it took a sleeper rent-a-cop comedy to boost the lovable character actor to movie-star status. Released in the doldrums of January, the PG-rated “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” plastered James’ mug on billboards across the country and took in a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content