It’s easy to see that Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan are good friends. They were both raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in New York. Bed-Stuy, for short, is also where rapper Jay-Z was raised.
The New York connection isn’t the only thing that these two comedians share. Rock and Morgan both appeared on several seasons of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” in the 1990s and they also worked on a couple of films together (Head of State and now Death at a Funeral).
In Death at a Funeral, opening in theaters nationwide on Friday, April 16, screenwriter Dean Craig adapted a U.K. film of the same name, with Neil LaBute directing for an American audience.
Rock and Morgan play Aaron and Norman, respectively. Norman is a family friend and during Aaron’s father’s funeral, Aaron and his family find out some family secrets. One of those secrets is Aaron’s father’s homosexuality.
The South Florida Times had an opportunity to speak with Rock and Morgan about Death and its themes.
“This movie is really about accepting your family for who they are and not to judge people. This guy (Aaron) finds out that his dad is gay and he’s alright with it,” said Rock.
“This is a big movie for the African-American community. We need to get off of this bashing gay people sh*t.”
Rock, a very outspoken comic, chose to address this topic because it is still considered a taboo subject in the African-American community. He said that if someone’s sexual orientation is different from that of “normal” society, they should at least be able to be themselves around their family. Morgan seconded that sentiment, mentioning that everyone has at least one different person in their family, but they should love that person all the same.
The all-star cast of Death at a Funeral also includes comedians/actors Martin Lawrence and Kevin Hart, and actors Regina Hall, Danny Glover, Loretta Devine, Columbus Short, Zoe Saldana, Keith David, Luke Wilson, and Peter Dinklage, who is reprising his role from the U.K. version.
“Peter Dinklage, he’s my bro bro,” Morgan said about the actor who appeared on an episode of NBC’s “30 Rock,” the Tina Fey vehicle that was the catalyst for Morgan’s comeback.
“You know, he got my sister pregnant years ago, so, me and him go way back like spider cords and car seats.” Morgan, who is very similar to his character Tracy Jordan on “30 Rock,” had a hard time keeping his interview serious.
“Tracy has the Jedi training of “SNL.” We are brothers who are surviving; we’re like frat brothers,” Rock said about Morgan.
Judging by the camaraderie between Rock and Morgan, it’s only natural to assume that behind the scenes of Death at a Funeral was a comedic riot.
Rock and Morgan had nothing but nice things to say about each other with Morgan saying: “Being with Chris Rock is like “A Tribe Called Quest” and I’m the abstract one. I’m a funky diuretic.”
As far as next projects go, Rock is in pre-planning on his latest documentary titled: Credit is the Devil, which will focus on credit and debt within the black community.
Morgan, who is trying not to jinx his successful run on “30 Rock,” said he will continue enjoying his time working on the Emmy winning show and feels that rumors of its cancellation are “none of my business.” Morgan also dreams of working in the adult film industry as “Tiger Hoods” and starring in the biography of “Man Aconda.”
The very opinionated Rock said the best reason to buy a ticket to see Death at a Funeral this weekend is, “Tracy has a lot of funny stuff in this movie; it’s going to be great.”
Photo By Phil Bray/Columbia TriStar. Tracy Morgan, left, and Chris Rock star in Screen Gems' comedy Death at a Funeral.