Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan talked with Suite 411 about their new movie, Death at a Funeral, which is in theaters Friday. The remake of the 2007 British film features an all-star cast that includes: Martin Lawrence, Loretta Devine, Danny Glover and Zoey Saldana. During the interview, Rock and Morgan discuss their views on mentoring comedians, bad credit and Jay-Z.
What makes this film different than the original?
Rock: The British are very mannered. They’re very polite with their comedy. And this one, it’s not even a remake. It’s a remix. It’s a lot more blunt and a little bit more over the top in places, so it’s a funkier version. It’s like Aretha Franklin singing a Beatles song.
When you were making this movie, did you watch the original to prepare at all for your roles in this film? Did you use that as sort of like a guide at all?
Morgan: Absolutely not. We wanted to add our flavor to it. I wanted to complement the role. When I saw the cast, I was like this is going to be the bomb, baby.
What do you want the audience to take away from this film?
Rock: This movie is really about accepting your family for whom they are, not to judge people. This guy finds out his dad is gay and he’s all right with it. It’s all right. That’s my dad and I love him no matter what. So this is a big movie for the African American community. We need to get off this bashing gay people crap.
How would you describe your character in the movie, Norman?
Morgan: He’s a family friend. Norman, he’s a bit paranoid. He has a trace of schizophrenia in there and he’s crazy, but he’s a good dude at heart. He’s just a lovable loser.
What’s on your mp3 player right now?
Rock: The Blueprint 3 by Jay-Z is the best album of the year. “Young Forever” is my favorite track now. I’m just loving that.
Chris Rock, you were discovered by Eddie Murphy and he became your mentor. Have you returned the favor for any other comedian?
Rock: I try to be friends with lots of comics. I would see Tracy and I’d try to give him a little bit of advice about Saturday Night Live, the same way Eddie gave me advice about SNL. Wanda Sykes as well.
I don’t even look at that as a mentorship. These people are so funny. They don’t really need me. I’m trying to be their friend. I’m trying to push up to them. I never know. They might have to hire me for a job one day.
Morgan: He’s just a regular dude. He just lets you know that there are some landmines out there, not to step on them.
Are you planning on making other documentaries like Good Hair?
Rock: I’m prepping one right now called Credit Is the Devil. It’s about credit and debt and just us as a people. It’s going to be funny.