In his first public comments since the September car accident that left his spine fractured in three places, comedian Kevin Hart says the ordeal has changed his perspective on life.
"Basically you realize that you're not in control," the 40-year-old Hart says in a professionally shot, two-minute Instagram video posted late Tuesday. "No matter how much you think you're in control, you're not in control. By the end of the day, it can all be over, man."
Speaking in voice-over amid scenes of him in the hospital, in physical therapy and at home in a back brace and in his gym and pool, the "Ride Along" and "Jumanji" movie-franchise star says, "When God talks, you've got to listen … because some of the craziest things that happen to you end up being the thing that you needed most. In this case I honestly feel like God basically told me to sit down: 'You’re moving too fast and you're doing to much.' "
He added, "Sometimes you can't see the things that you're meant to see. But after my accident I see things differently … My appreciation for life is through the roof." He expressed thanks for his family, friends and fans. "And more importantly, I'm thankful for God. I'm thankful for life. … I'm thankful for simply still being here." He promised to become a "bigger and better version of me. Looking forward to an amazing 2020."
Among the celebrities commenting supportively were Cedric the Entertainer, Jerry Ferrara, Jamie Foxx, Tyrese Gibson, Taraji P. Henson, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Justin Timberlake and Hart's frequent movie co-star Dwayne Johnson, who wrote, "Beautifully said. Love u brotha. Onward.”
Hart was a passenger in his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda that was being driven by Jared Stanton Black in Calabasas, California, on Sept. 1, when the car went down an embankment and struck a tree due to what police determined was reckless driving. Black's fiancee, trainer Rebecca Broxterman, another passenger, escaped with minor injuries. Black was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center severely hurt but has since recovered, and the couple celebrated an engagement party on Oct. 12. Two days earlier, Hart had said in a statement, "I have nothing but love for Jared and wish him and Rebecca a speedy recovery."
Hart's attorney, Andrew Brettler, told NBC News earlier this month his client is "committed to the physical therapy regimen and is getting stronger every day." He is not expected to return to performing until early next year.