The two actors were promoting their upcoming movie Jumanji: The Next Level in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when journalist Kevin McCarthy asked Johnson, 47, how happy he was to have Hart, 40, back next to him after the crash. Hart underwent emergency back surgery after the incident and has been recovering every since.
“His situation could’ve gone another way. He knows that, we know that,” Johnson, 47, said. “When I heard the news, my heart stopped and I lost my breath. Kevin’s one of the good ones, he’s a good egg. So I’m really proud of not only his ability to overcome, but we’re here, we’re in Cabo, we made Jumanji. Life is good. I’m happy that he’s here.”
Johnson also opened up about reuniting with Hart after the crash and being impressed by how positive the actor’s outlook on life and work was.
“We hugged, we had a real strong conversation when he finally came back, face to face, about what this meant and how it had changed him,” Johnson said. “It’s almost as if life and the universe takes this shade and lifts it from your eyes and you view the world a different way. It’s really beautiful.”
On Sept. 1, the comedian was a passenger in his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda when the driver, friend and producer Jared Black, lost control and crashed through wooden fencing just before 1 a.m. local time on Mulholland Highway in Malibu.
In the interview with McCarthy, Hart also opened up about how priorities in his life have shifted since the accident.
“It’s not about not working the same and not having the same level of hustle or energy in my profession, but being present to the ones around you that matter most is more of a priority now,” Hart said. “The level of appreciation for life is extremely higher, because you do kind of take it for granted. You do bypass the fact that things don’t have to be the way they are, that they could change like that.”
“So when you have an experience that shows you that, you understand what that is and what it was and you make being present matter most. For me, that’s the new version of myself. I’m happier now,” he continued.
Jumanji: The Next Level reunited Hart and Johnson with Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Nick Jonas. It’s set for release on Dec. 13.