Kevin Hart Delighted By Portrait Gift From Co-Star Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Kevin Hart was recently “delightful and flattered” to receive a unique wrap gift from his co-star Gugu Mbatha-Raw – a portrait painted by the actress herself.

This heartfelt gesture occurred as filming wrapped on their latest project, the heist thriller “Lift,” in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The bond between Hart, known for his comedic timing in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” and Mbatha-Raw, acclaimed for her performances in “Belle” and “The Morning Show,” was strengthened not only through their shared screen time but also by their mutual love for art.

The film’s director, F. Gary Gray, further encouraged their interest in the visual arts by introducing them to an exhibition as part of their character development for “Lift.”

This experience provided them with common ground, despite Mbatha-Raw’s self-description as being like “chalk and cheese” with Hart.

“Kevin’s got such an exuberant spirit, I ended up painting him and having the background exploding in a Pop Art kind of way. If you’re looking for any silver lining to the isolation – if I hadn’t been forced to stop in my normal rhythm of life, maybe I wouldn’t have come back to it,” Mbatha-Raw told W Magazine .

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An avid art collector, Hart found a kindred spirit in Mbatha-Raw who describes herself as an “art nerd.”

Throughout the production, Kevin Hart sought Mbatha-Raw’s advice on potential art acquisitions, deepening their bond over shared artistic interests.

Mbatha-Raw’s journey into painting began unexpectedly after receiving an easel and paint set from actor Will Smith during the filming of “Concussion” in 2015.

Yet, it wasn’t until the isolation brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 that Mbatha-Raw fully embraced her passion for painting, starting with portraits of friends and then progressing to famous figures and co-stars, including Hart.

This artistic endeavor not only served as a therapeutic outlet during Mbatha-Raw’s recovery from Covid but also as a symbol of the unique connection forged between the two stars on set.

The painting, now proudly displayed in Hart’s home office, stands as a testament to their friendship and shared experiences during the production of “Lift.”