Few people are able to offer a blunt analysis of a subject like Chris Rock. The veteran comedic actor and stand up legend gave a number of fascinating insights into the movie industry when he sat down on a panel at Produced By: New York, and as THR explained, he covered a myriad of topics.
Fresh from scoring a new deal with streaming service Netflix, Rock gave a frank admission about his directing role for Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo special. Understanding this was outside his comfort zone, he kept things reasonably simple.
Rock: It Is OK Not To Know
The former Oscars host wasn't hiding the fact the director's chair felt like a new phenomenon to him, and being up front with that would help everyone at HBO.
“I've never directed stand-up, it never even crossed my mind,” Rock explained. “I don't know shit. Part of being a producer, a good one anyway, is knowing when you don't know. I don't know. What I can help this person with is, why are you doing this joke? Are we getting the most out of it? Is there more meat on that bone? ... A lot of that is putting your ego in your back pocket and getting the most out of her (Schumer).”
Casting Comedies The Key As Producers Are Best Equipped For Dramas
From his experience in front and behind the camera across drama and comedy, the Top Five star can now differentiate what is important for the two genres and what makes them so different in the eyes of the public.
“There's definitely a role (for producers in comedies), it's just less of a role than it would be for something dramatic," argued Rock. “Like, you can do any Jerry Bruckheimer movie and take the actor out, ... the movie is exactly the same. Get rid of Sean Connery, put in … Clint Eastwood, same f—ing movie! Try that with Talladega Nights and watch what happens: a lot of embarrassment there. People will get fired.”
But there is one observation in particular that he has recognized, something of a trade secret.
“The best comedies basically are dramas with jokes,” says Rock. “Dodgeball and Any Given Sunday are kind of the same movie, it's just different seasoning. Woody Allen, to me, all of them are dramas with jokes. In order to get the biggest laughs you need something dramatic — the laughs have to be a release.”
Only Rock could compare Al Pacino to Ben Stiller and get away with it!