Chris Rock dons three hats for latest film, 'Top Five'

Mon Dec 8, 2014 10:09am EST
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In his latest film, "Top Five," comedian Chris Rock takes the reins as a triple-threat director, writer and star, but once he assembled a cast of comic talent Rock said he was happy to just let them do what they do best.

"The way I look at it is, it's my movie, but it's your part," said Rock, referring to comic heavyweights Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan and JB Smoove.

They provide the edgy, satirical film, which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, with much of its controlled comic chaos. Other comedians turn up in small bits playing themselves.

"I wanted everybody to shine. That's what they're there for, that's why they're stars," said Rock. "I've done movies where I was too much in love with my own words."

In "Top Five," Rock plays troubled comic Andre Allen, who yearns to be taken seriously. Several years into recovery, he has forged a career with a series of "Hammy the Bear" movies -- in which he wears a bear suit.

While promoting his foray into "serious cinema," an absurdly earnest tale of a Haitian slave uprising entitled "Uprize!", Allen is trailed by a journalist played by Rosario Dawson for a profile piece.

Unlike his cast of comic heavyweights, Rock recalled having "to beg her to be in the movie. I couldn't even get a meeting -- with my friend."

"Oh come on, that's not true," Dawson laughed, explaining that she had just come off of seven or eight films back-to-back, and was feeling burnt out.   Continued...

Actors Chris Rock (R) and Rosario Dawson pose for a portrait while promoting their new film "Top Five" in New York, November 22, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Segar