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Kevin Hart is ready to introduce you to "Crazy Kevin."

For Netflix's limited series True Story (debuting Nov. 24), which serves as the comedy rockstar's first dramatic TV role, Hart blends reality with fiction, starring as Kid, a world famous comedian who returns home to Philadelphia for a tour stop and experiences a lost evening with his older brother Carlton (Wesley Snipes) that could cost him everything.

"[Hart] called me out of the blue, I didn't know him, and his pitch was simply, 'I want to kill someone,'" recalls True Story creator Eric Newman, one of the minds behind Netflix's Narcos franchise. "He was calling the project, 'Crazy Kevin.' But I wasn't at all drawn to the idea of Kevin as, like, Dexter or Barry. As I did some research on Kevin, I was struck by how ambitious he is, how vast his empire is, and it dovetails slightly with the theory that I've been cultivating for a long time, which is the common sociopathy in really successful people: I believe a lot of them are capable of killing somebody. And I certainly thought Kid as a character would kill to protect what he had built."

He adds: "I'm really blown away, and yet, also not surprised that Kevin is as good as he is. My hope is that people are going to say, 'Wow, who would have thought?'"

Fall TV Preview
Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes in 'True Story.'
| Credit: ADAM ROSE/NETFLIX

In addition to unveiling the exclusive first look at True Story, EW chatted with Hart about showing off a new side of himself, working with an idol, and more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When True Story was first announced, you declared, "I've never been more excited about an acting project in my career." You've done so many cool things already in your career, so why the next level excitement for this one?

KEVIN HART: This was an opportunity for me to step outside of my norm and partake in a genre of this craft that I never imagined that I would get to. My road to this type of role has been a long one, and I wanted to make sure that it was something that I could do and have my fan base really believe in, respect, and say, "We've actually witnessed him work his way to get here." Doing The Upside was strategic, doing Fatherhood was strategic, and now doing True Story is strategic. This is about me finding new excitement in my craft, in my talent, and putting it on display.

Considering there's a bit of mystery about the project, how would you setup the series and what it's about?

It's a thriller; it's like you've never seen me before. It's a little artistic play. We wanted to raise the level of curiosity, like, "What is Kevin trying to say? Is he playing himself?" We never refer to the character by name, just Kid. And Kid's life kind of parallels mine to a certain degree, and then it's exaggerated in some places. But ultimately it's a question of, How far would you go to protect the things you've worked hardest for? Where would you go to make sure those things remain yours and are never taken from you? I can say just vaguely, because I don't want to say too much, when life throws certain obstacles and challenges at you, sometimes you don't even know what you're capable of. And that was the biggest thing, we wanted to put our character in a situation where he could ultimately shock himself and truly step outside of his norm to become a person that he never had no idea that he could ever be.

At the same time that your character was shocking himself with realizing what he was capable of, were you feeling a bit of that yourself? Obviously in a less dangerous way!

Absolutely. There's moments where I looked at my surroundings and saw the company that I'm keeping. I got to work with Wesley Snipes, such an amazing talent, and you knew that you were going to be able to raise your game based off of what he was bringing to the table. You're feeding off of that energy, of those performances. It was nothing short of amazing, from him to Billy Zane. Billy Zane brought his AAA-game. It's so contagious.

TRUE STORY
Wesley Snipes and Kevin Hart in 'True Story.'
| Credit: ADAM ROSE/NETFLIX

We've got to talk Wesley Snipes. How surreal was it getting to work so closely with him?

I can't put words to it. I grew up watching Wesley and emulating Wesley, and the fact that now that's my guy, my brother, my friend, my costar — it's everything, plus more.

And not only did you work with Wesley on this, but you just worked with Woody Harrelson for your upcoming movie The Man from Toronto. You cornered the White Men Can't Jump market!

Yeah, that's something that we joked about a lot. I don't know how I go from having a movie to somehow having these guys in back-to-back projects. It definitely wasn't planned but it happened and I'm so glad that it did.

Earlier, you mentioned that there are some parallels between Kid and you, and part of that is your shared-hometown of Philadelphia. What was that like returning there for a project that is so big for you?

It's just about putting my city in places to be celebrated when I can. I'm a Philadelphia native and I do look for those moments where I can throw the flowers that I feel my city deserves. So being able to highlight Philadelphia as a backdrop, it's my way of telling my city I love them. I wouldn't be where I am without the city of Philadelphia. Whenever I can film in or elevate and create the conversation and attach it to Philadelphia, trust me when I tell you I will.

TRUE STORY
Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes in 'True Story.'
| Credit: ADAM ROSE/NETFLIX

You've stepped into dramatic TV with True Story, and you've got a role in Eli Roth's Borderlands coming up as well. So what's next to check off the career to-do list?

More of this. I'm now stumbling into this new space in acting. I'm showing that I can truly check all those boxes, whether it's drama, thriller, comedy, action-comedy, or just action. It's about growth, it's about progression, and I think the projects that I'm choosing are a clear representation of me showing that.

And now you know, if you want it, you have a clear path to a White Men Can't Jump sequel.

[Laughs] Very true!

For more from our Fall TV Preview, order the October issue of Entertainment Weekly or find it on newsstands beginning Friday. Don't forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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