It was in early February that Chris Rock not only teased a potential upcoming tour with Dave Chappelle, but also that he was going to be shooting a new film this spring/summer.
That project is now officially a reality, with Rock penning the script for it, and will also direct, with Scott Rudin producing (he also produced Chris Rock's Broadway debut, The Mother-F with the Hat).
Here's the project's synopsis:
ANDRE ALLEN is a comedian turned film star who, despite the expectations of his millions of fans, is determined to reinvent himself as a “serious” actor. Although his latest pretentiously historical film project is tanking, his upcoming television wedding to pretty, popular reality star, ERICA LONG, is the biggest media event of the year. In the midst of all the frenzy leading up to his televised nuptials, Andre agrees to be interviewed for the New Yorker by CHELSEA BROWN, a gorgeous but no-frills young woman with a sharp intelligence that matches his own. It’s a feisty, funny, no-holds-barred interaction that may well change the course of both their lives…
We posted the casting call notice a month ago, which was searching for actresses to play Rock's soon-to-be wife, as well as his love interest (likely the Chelsea Brown character described above).
Deadline is now reporting that Rosario Dawson is in talks to play the female lead, which will likely be the Chelsea Brown role, opposite Rock. I doubt that she's playing the soon-to-be wife.
In my February post, asking who you guys would like to see play that part, no one mentioned Rosario Dawson. Instead, there were thumbs up for Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Zoe Saldana, Thandie Newton, Tracey Heggins and a couple of others.
But today's news made me think about the casting process - specifically, what's the point of circulating or publishing these casting notices on sites like Backstage.com and others that the average struggling actor utilizes to learn about projects to audition for, when producers or casting directors likely already have their minds set on known actors?
We've posted a number of casting notices for what are effectively studio projects on this site, and I peruse sites like Backstage.com weekly (even though I'm not an actor) because, in the past, I've learned about upcoming new projects (studio and indie) via those casting notices.
But what's the point of distributing those notices, soliciting head-shots and reels, and, at times, holding physical auditions with hundreds of *unknown* hopefuls, if the jobs eventually go to *known* actors/celebs in the end?
Maybe this is something all of you professional actors reading this can help me understand, because I don't get it...
But here's the breakdown for the above Chris Rock project that was circulated, including descriptions of leading lady roles like the one that Rosario Dawson is in talks to sign up for:
[CHELSEA BROWN] Late 20s to early 30s, this attractive woman is “vintage, downtown N.Y.C. funky,” with a lacerating intelligence and humor that is disarming. Chelsea has been assigned to interview Andre Allen for a prestigious New York magazine, but she’s a journeyman journalist who makes her living writing for a variety of publications. Pregnant as a teen, and now a single mother, Chelsea has had a wild past, but is now in the “program” and hoping for a stable relationship with her current boyfriend. Chelsea’s initially fractious interaction with Andre soon flares into a passionate tryst. Any ethnicity…LEAD
[ERICA LONG] Late 20s to 40, she’s beautiful, glamorous and “expensive.” A popular reality TV star, she helped Andre get clean — and he’s forever grateful for her assistance. Erica is a camera-hungry celebrity who is completely comfortable in the spotlight. When she persuades Andre to get married on her show in the biggest media event of the year, her stardom is all set to go stratospheric. Any ethnicity…LEAD
[SILK] 30s, Andre’s “security guard-slash-assistant,” who is never far from Andre’s side. A burly, very big and imposing African American guy. A real character, he has a thing for big women…SUPPORTING LEAD