But Chris Rock may change that with his new film “Top Five.” The feature, which also stars Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart and Tracy Morgan, has generated a healthy buzz and Oscar talk since it wowed moviegoers at the Toronto International Film Festival. So much so that it triggered a bidding war that was won two months ago by Paramount. According to media sources, the studio reportedly paid $12.5 million for “Top Five.”
As for influences, Rock referenced his Broadway stint on “Motherf****r With A Hat,” as the catalyst for making a film that’s “more personal.”
“It was really dramatic and really funny,” he told Deadline.com. “I knew coming into this movie that I got a confidence in the play that made me realize the drama is as important, even more important than the comedy. And I tried to take the lessons I learned in (the play) and apply them to ‘Top Five.’ So, yeah, it is a little more personal, it’s a lot more grounded than anything I’ve done. The characters are living in a world that’s real, as opposed to a comedy world.”
Despite it dealing with a famous comic that tries to go in the direction of the dramatic, Rock maintains “Top Five” is not autobiographical and compared the film to what fellow comedian Louis C.K. does on his show “Louie.”
Rock goes on to mention how “Top Five” producer Scott Rudin was the one who helped guide him towards the direction he ultimately took with the film.
“We both knew what it could be,” he said. “He was never steering me into, you know, ‘Hey, let’s make another fake Eddie Murphy movie.’ You know what happens when you’re a black standup in Hollywood: “Hey, can we make another knockoff of ‘Trading Places,’ a knockoff of ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ or whatever?’ But that was one of the great things about having Rudin around.”
Chris Rock’s “Top Five” is set to be released on Dec. 5. For more about Rock breaking the Academy’s comedy curse, click here.