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Chris Rock Talks Returning To Stand-up + Acting + Why He Turned Down 'Behanding in Spokane'

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 1, 2012 3:47 PM
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Chris Rock

“I haven’t done any dirty work in a while... I’m ready to curse. I’m ready to really, really be a bad boy. I’m ready to actually be Chris Rock... It’s time for me to hit the stage or something.”

Words spoken by Chris Rock in a new interview with the NY Times.

His last concert tour (Kill the Messenger) was released in 2008, and it looks like the multi-hyphenate is itching to get back on stage again, based on his statement above. 

Although, maybe not quite grand a stage (at least not at first), as this later response during the same interview, when asked how he works out his new material:

Honestly, I’m just trying to figure out how I’m going to do it. ’Cause the few times I’ve gotten onstage and thought about touring, immediately, stuff’s on the Internet, I’m getting calls, and I’m like, this isn’t worth it. I saw “Dark Knight [Rises]” the other night, and Bruce Wayne’s walking into this party, and he presses a button, and no one’s camera works. If I find a comedy club where no one’s camera works, I’ll go. I’ll go back to comedy clubs when they get a real no-camera policy, the same way they did with smoking. But hey, they used to be the smokiest places in the world.

I'm sure fans of Rock would love to see him by "dirty," and on stage again.

In the meantime, he has his hands full, producing and/or exec producing a number of projects for both film and TV - 2 we profiled recently on S&A: a late night series with W. Kamau Bell on FX, and a sketch comedy series featuring young comedian and YouTube star, Deshawn Raw for Comedy Central.

He's also been working on a feature documentary called Credit Is The Devil for a year or two now.

One other notable factoid in the NY Times interview is that he says he'd love to return to Broadway in another show, but is selected about his choices, revealing that he was offered a part in A Behanding in Spokane (a part which eventually went to Anthony Mackie) but apparently turned it down. Why did he not do it?

I almost did that one. But I didn’t feel like leaving my nice house, my palatial estate to drive into Manhattan and get called nigger every night. [He laughs.] It’s like, really? 

In the play, as I learned, race is of some importance to the plot (the lead character, which was played by Christopher Walken is a proudly self-identified racist, and regularly berates Tobey (yes, Tobey, but with an "e;" the other is spelled Toby) played by Mackie, with “nigger” this and “nigger” that with abandon. I should note that the play, by Irish playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker, Martin McDonagh, is a dark comedy.

But Chris says, as far as his acting career goes (whether on stage, in film, or on TV), that he's...

... actively trying to be in some good stuff, and mix it up and do some fun stuff too.

You can read the full NY Times interview HERE. It's an interesting one, as you'd expect with Chris Rock. He's one interview I'd love to have; a smart, blunt and chatty interviewee almost always makes for a good interview.

He co-stars with Julie Delpy in 2 Days In New York, which opens this Friday (although you can find it on iTunes and other digital platforms right now).

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  • Donella | August 3, 2012 12:15 PMReply

    "Anthony Mackie went to Julliard, and gets called nigger 8 nights a week....Chris Rock gets a GED, and chills out at his palatial mansion in Jersey. I love America. lol" Leave it to Chris Rock to find the funny side of everything. He's still got it.

  • bondgirl | August 1, 2012 8:31 PMReply

    I don't blame him for turning down the role. Nor am I surprised McDonagh wrote that kind of play, considering he and his brother created The Guard, which had its own racial prejudices in it. And he cites Scorsese and Tarantino as film influences? Yup, not surprised at all. Anthony Mackie went to Julliard, and gets called nigger 8 nights a week....Chris Rock gets a GED, and chills out at his palatial mansion in Jersey. I love America. lol

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