I Asked Chris Rock If He Was The Original Ricky Gervais


As you know, this week’s column is my tete-a-tete with Chris Rock, who told me about his new movie (2 Days In New York, in which he’s a Voice writer who converses with a cardboard cutout of Obama), his animated film work, and his past as a guy who needed to be humbled.

Well, here’s more of what he told me:

Was any of 2 Days In New York ad libbed?

The stuff where I talk to Obama was a little ad libbed, but Julie Delpy wrote an excellent script and knew what she wanted. It wasn’t a lot.

So in other words, the dirty words in those scenes were ad libbed?

Yeah. [laughs]

When Julie’s character’s French father–played by Julie’s real-life dad–was all in your face, being cutely annoying, did that make you uncomfortable?

It made me uncomfortable as me and the character. It worked that I don’t speak French at all. A lot of time Julie would be talking to the DP, who talked French, and I had no idea what was going on. It helped me in my performance because a lot of it is my being flustered.

Speaking of people getting flustered, years ago you caught some flack for saying outrageous things as an awards show host. [Three VMAs and an Oscars.] But weren’t you the original Ricky Gervais?

You get some flack here and there, but if people are laughing, then no one cares! Were things written? Yeah. But then you just show clips of people laughing!

The outrage over Gervais was so bogus because they knew what he was gonna say. It was on the prompter.

Yeah, they knew.

Do you answer people on Twitter?

Nah. Please. I’d be tweeting all day.

Not even if they write you something rude. You don’t tell them off?

Nah. For me to answer means they’re right. But I do tweet and I Facebook and try to live now.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 17, 2012

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