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‘Death at a Funeral’: Choppin’ it up with Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan

April 16, 2010

by Apollonia Jordan

Tracy Morgan, left, and Chris Rock star in “Death at a Funeral.”
“Death at a Funeral,” produced by actor and comedian Chris Rock, hits theaters today with an all-star cast of actors and comedians, like Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock, Loretta Devine, Danny Glover and Kevin Hart. This movie is a remake of Frank Oz’s 2007 movie, with an enormous splash of chocolate heartwarming humor that will have you on the floor. What else would you expect from a cast like this?

I had the opportunity to chop it up with comedians Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan, two of the most talented Black comedians in the game right now. Check it out …

Apollonia Jordan: How do the issues depicted in this film relate to the average African American family?

Tracy Morgan: This film has to do a lot with family and issues that any family goes through. Everyone’s family has a little dysfunction in it, but family keeps you grounded and they keep you honest. At the end of the day we’re family no matter what. It’s unfortunate that family can sometime be your worst enemy and that we have to come together at a time of hardship like funerals to bring us closer. This film deals with that concept and is funny at the same time.

Chris Rock: I feel as if this film also deals with sexuality issues that may come to the surface when dealing with family. In the film, my character discovers his father was living a double life and was gay. Everyone has gay members in their family, but a lot of time we as Black families push our relatives away for choosing to be homosexual. I believe this is an issue that we as a culture have to work through. No matter what, he was still our father; we loved him and he loved us. This is a big movie for the African American community because it’s a movie about accepting your family for who you are.

Apollonia: What was the funniest thing that happened off camera while filming this movie?

Tracy: There’s a part on the movie where I am helping Danny Glover, who plays Chris and Martin character’s loud mouth old uncle, and he really poops in my hand.

Chris: I slipped Danny Glover an ex-lax before we began filming this part of the film without his knowledge, and he really went in Tracy’s hand.

Apollonia: Tracy, you have been stepping your game up when it comes to acting and obtaining. What would be your ideal role?

Tracy: My ideal role would have to be playing a great Black leader like President Obama or something outta this world funny like Manaconda.

Apollonia: Chris, you were discovered by Eddie Murphy and he became your mentor. Have you returned the favor?

Chris: I pull Tracy in on this film and I give him advice about SNL (Saturday Night Live) and dealing with the pros and cons of this industry. I have also mentored Wanda Sykes, but they don’t need me. When you’re already funny and a great comedian, you don’t need to be mentored, but advice is always gladly given.

Tracy: Chris is a regular dude. He comes around and he lets you know that you can be yourself in this profession and be a regular person, or you can let this business get the best of you and go off the defense. He lets you know that there are some landlines in this business and that you can’t step on them because boom … black suits fill the room.

Apollonia: Chris, you have a documentary in stores now, titled “Good Hair,” where you get down and dirty into Black women and the hair industry. Are you planning on making anymore documentaries and, if so, about what?

Chris: Yes, I am currently working on a documentary titled, “Credit is the Devil.” It’s a documentary about us as a people and all the issues that surround us with obtaining and keeping credit. It’s a very funny movie; I know it doesn’t sound funny, but there is a comedic spin to it.

Tracy: Of course it’s going to be funny. Have you ever saw a movie with both Black people and credit?

Apollonia: Thanks for choppin’ it up with me, guys.

If you’re looking to have some safe fun this weekend, make sure you check this film out. It’s one the whole family can enjoy.

Bay View staff writer Apollonia Jordan can be reached at apollonia@sfbayview.com.

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