Welcome to Variety‘s new podcast “Strictly Business,” which each week will feature conversations with Andrew Wallenstein and Cynthia Littleton about the business of entertainment from industry insiders including studio, network and media executives, producers, creators and tech leaders.
Kicking off the series, co-editor-in-chief Wallenstein sat down with comedian, actor and producer Kevin Hart at Variety‘s Massive Entertainment Marketing Summit to talk his behind-the-scenes hustle and dreams of Hollywood’s next entertainment powerhouse.
“The goal of being a mogul is a real one,” Hart told Wallenstein. “I want to be a billionaire…I’m 38. By the time I’m 45, you guys are going to be telling a completely different story.” In addition to his work on screen, starring in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” this year, Hart recently launched the Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Network and is expanding his HartBeat Productions company.
A massive part of Hart’s brand also comes from social media, where he boasts over 100 million followers across platforms.
“Today’s star and celebrity, you’re big and you become bigger when your fans feel like they see behind the closed door,” Hart said. “There was a time where it was such an experience and mystique around stars. You only saw them when it was time to see them…Social media has allowed these stars to show that they’re people.”
All of his projects are leading Hart toward one goal: to take over Hollywood.
“It sounds so crazy, but if you don’t have the mentality of ‘Take over, do everything,’ you’re not doing nothing,” he added.
For more, listen to the full episode of “Strictly Business” below.
“Strictly Business” will debut a new episode each Tuesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Sound Cloud. Upcoming guests include Instagram’s global head of programs, Charles Porch and Marvel Entertainment’s senior VP and head of global partnerships, Mindy Hamilton.