Maybe it's because his comedy albums were so formative to me or that I loved seeing him in movies like Top Five and Nurse Betty, but Chris Rock has always excited me as an actor. Now, as he enters middle age, it's fun to see him making a huge comeback with titles like Fargo's season four and Spiral, both out this year.
But is this really a comeback?
Rock has done comedy specials for Netflix and was in Dolemite is my Name and was in the Sandler comedy The Week Of, as well. But aside from those titles, he mostly did one-off TV episodes since 2014.
The time was spent working on his family and being with his kids. But now Chris Rock is back.
He sat down with The New York Times to talk about where his career has been and where it's going.
First up is Fargo. Rock expands on what was going through his head when he got the offer, "I get acting offers, but I get more hosting offers than anything. It is not uncommon for somebody to want me to do a high-priced wedding or bar mitzvah—a few years ago, I officiated the wedding of Daniel Ek, the owner of Spotify, and Bruno Mars was the wedding band. I think I sat next to [Mark] Zuckerberg at the reception. [Laughs.] I just assumed Noah [Hawley] had some crazy request like that. The only reason I went is because I love Fargo. And I get there and he offers me this part."
That's so revealing. I cannot believe he's not approached to act more. It seems like he's proven himself over and over.
In terms of the roles Rock's looking to play, "Everything I’ve done hasn’t been great, but I was always striving for greatness. I loved Marriage Story. I’d kill for something like that. [Laughs.] You see what [Adam] Sandler did with Uncut Gems. But you’ve got to get the call and be ready when your number’s called."
I love that honesty and drive.
Rock hasn't always been lucky with roles either. Sometimes the movies he accepts fall apart.
There are many movies that never happen, but the Tim Burton Superman, starring Nic Cage, is one a lot of people talk about. It was supposed to be dark and weird and fun. It was going to be about a dead Superman coming back to life and it had outer space and all those gothic Burton touches.
But that movie never happened.
Still, despite being a fan, I had no idea Chris Rock was involved. Listen to him describe what might have been, "I was supposed to be Jimmy Olsen in Superman with Nic Cage [Superman Lives, which was canceled in the late 1990s]. I remember going to Warner Bros., doing a costume fitting. Hanging out with Tim [Burton], who I idolized. Like, I’m hanging out with the guy that made Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and he’s showing me the models of the sets for Superman."
What about Chris Rock the director? Top Five was such a big deal in his life. When will we see him get back at that?
It seems like in the near future. But hopefully for better reasons.
"When I made Top Five, I got divorced. And like most people that get divorced, I needed money. [Laughs.] I had to pay for stuff. I also went on tour. Because of COVID, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be any serious touring until 2022. So, I’m a writer-director-actor right now. I’m working on some scripts in the Top Five vein and I honestly hope to direct sometime after the new year."
I would love to see Rock step back in the director's chair. He's producing the new Saw series, so be on the lookout for that.
What are some of your favorite Chris Rock moments?
Any movie or TV series you want to see him work on?
Let us know in the comments.