tv Charlie Rose PBS December 12, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PST
>> welcome stock the program, tonight chris rock for the hour, he has a new film called top five. we'll talk about that and comedy. >> i like to put the audience in a hole. i like to say something that's absolutely controversial, and then dig myself out of the hole come edically. and that's what i did with the movie. the movie is, you know, i play a guy who is an alcoholic, a cheat, a hack, you know what i mean. just like-- very unlikeable character. you know. and, you know, i take you on a journey and i try to help you understand where this guy is coming from. >> rose: chris rock for the hour, next. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following: >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following:
>> rose: additional funding has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services world wide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: chris rock's new movie is called "top five" he wrote and directed it, also played its lead character, comedian andre allen. the associated press writes that "top five" defies categorization, is a romance, a gross-out comedy, a silly industry is a tire and a sweet look at an artist who is just trying to figure out what he wants. here is the trailer for the film. >> what's up? this is andre allen. when i listen to satellite radio, i listen to sirius
hits one. >> that's good. just make it a little funnier. >> funnier? >> put a little stank on it. >> stank? >> nice and funny. >> was's up mother [bleep] this is [bleep] andre allen [bleep], scratch my nuts that is. >> first take was good. >> in 2005 "time" magazine voted today's guest the funniest man in america. >> by 2010, the former stand-up hit it big with "hammie the bear one, two and three" >> you got hammie time. it's hammie time. >> you can also see him getting married to star erica long. >> where's my kiss. >> do we have to do this on camera. >> not on camera it doesn't exist. >> i don't feel like doing funny movies any more. i don't feel funny. >> save that for your time's interview. >> i want a decent story. give me a couple of really honest things, i will be more than fair. >> this is chelsea brown, she is doing a story on me, no snitches.
>> come to me, i will turn over like an apple pie. >> you know you just ate an apple.. >> you need to wake up. >> you ain't never change. >> look at this, black man trying to get a cab in new york city. taxi, taxi, yeah. >> do you think the wedding is hurting me? >> are you kidding me. >> andre, this ain't-- we could be talking dancing with the stars. >> what is going on? >> who-- in the conference room. >> these white people don't tell me --. >> why don't you just skip the hack questions and go right to something good. >> all right, how come you're not funny any more. >> everyone is funnier drunk, ever see oprah drunk, she's hysterical. >> this is my town, there are things you need, you let the brother know. >> i got married a lot of times. i wasn't into the wedding. i should have been into the guy. as you should be into the girl. >> i am my top five is jay, scar face, and then i might let big e get in there.
>> ll cool j. >> great, you mind if i get some of them hangers. i need some wooden hangers, oh, dammit, they got -- >> they got a lock on them. they got the lock on them. they give it to you boy. >> rose: i spoke to chris rock telecom dee cell ar in new york and here's that conversation. here's what they're saying about your movie. directed it. for the first time, he has made a movie that is as good as his stand-up. does that resonate with you? >> that-- that was the desired effect. that's-- you know, there is a joke in startup memories, wherever woody allen walks, they say we love-- love your movies, especially the early funny ones, they say i love your work, especially the stand-up. okay, what about all those other things. so i kind of wanted to make
a movie as good as the stand-up. and just saying that right now. >> rose: they're saying that. >> next week, who knows. >> rose: stand-up comedians are saying that, people who care about you are saying that and the audiences in toronto and other places are saying that. but what dow mean, you think? was the fact that you were so good at stand-up, that you worked so hard at it, that you crafted it, and you hadn't done that in your movies before. that you had to come to a place where you treated moviests with the same reference that you treat stand-up. >> yeah, well, it's not even a reference. it's like i have to treat movie its-- i have to not care so much. and not care what people think. and not care about judgement. see when you do a movie, movies are amazing. i love doing movies. but movies, you have testing. and they literally test every line, every ten
minutes of the movie is tested. and you know what, i have always been a horrible test taker. it's just, like, horrible. so when you are writing a movie a lot of times, you're editing yourself and thinking about the test. oh, they're not going to like this. the studio is not going to like this and oh boy, this is going to test low. they don't test plays. you know, we test them in front of audiences, but you don't test every line. you don't test stand-up. you just, again, you test in front of an audience but it doesn't have that strict testing that a movie has. so this was the first movie where i didn't care about offending people. i didn't try to open a chain store. i just wanted, you know what i mean. >> rose: i want to make the movie i want to make. >> i'm going to have a little restaurant that's kind of hip. i'm not trying to make mcdonald'ss. i'm not trying to be every where. i want to make a chris rock movie. i don't want to make my version of an eddie murphy
movie or my version of an adam sandler movie. like my movie. >> rose: you said an interesting thing. i want to make a chris rock movie because you would sit with adam sandler and you knew what he was doing. he was making an adam sandler movie. >> he really was making an adam sandler movie. but you know, with men, i would say, men always dress like-- we always get our fashion sense from whatever friend gets laid the most. whatever friend gets laid the most, i guess i'll get those shoes. okay, that haircut seems to work for him. i'll get that haircut. and so sandler is like my biggest movie star friend. like okay, i'll just do what he is doing. but it didn't kind of fit me, you know what i mean. i had to, you know, it fits when i am in a move yeaux with him. but it didn't fit me to make a movie of the same tone as him. or even as an eddie murphy movie. that wasn't my tone.
and this movie, the important thing was, i found a tone that works for me. when i do stand-up, seldom i do talk about anything that's funny. almost nothing in my act is funny if you go topic to topic. >> rose: but that's what people say is your genius too, you can talk about race like nobody else can talk about race. and you can go to places nobody else can get out of. >> i like to put the audience in a hole. i like to say something that's absolutely controversial and dig myself out of the hole come edically and that is what i did with the movie. the movie-- you know, a play a guy who is an alcoholic, a cheat, a hack, you know what i mean, like-- just like, a very unlikeable character, you know. and you know, i take you on a journey. and i try to help you understand where this guy is coming from. >> rose: and then a reporter comes along and makes him vulnerable.
>> yes, makes him vulnerable. yeah. we're all vulnerable on some level, you just have to sit there and wait for it to come up. we're all insecure. >> you know why people are more accepting now. and thank god for that because it is literally rough for women, okay. like i am hopeful, because people are changing, okay. things are changing. you need to wake up and smell the progress. >> no, you need to wake up. nothing's changed, some things never change. >> thank god they change. >> look at this, black man trying to get a cab in new york city, watch this, black man trying to get a cab. look at this. ha, ha, taxi, taxi, taxi, taxi. >> there's an idea that comedians want to be taken seriously. true? >> yeah. a lot of comedians want to be taken seriouslyment they don't think that being funny is enough. >> well, here's what you have to understand. we're in america. america does not take comedians seriously. america treats comedians like third class entertainers. so you have your actors.
you have your sickers, you have your come ed-- your singers, you have your comedians. comedians are at the bottom of the thing. even though the comedians do the hardest part of all of this stuff. you know, it's just-- it's harder, it's harder to be funny. >> rose: exactly. >> then it is to be dramatic. >> rose: everybody ever said it is much harder for a great serious acker to be funny than it is for a great comedic actor to be serious. >> absolutely-- you know, hey, i saw gone girl the other day. gone girl is amazing, right, it is amazing. but if you took adam mckay who directed anchorman and had him-- you let him direct gone girl, right. you take david spencer and have him direct anchorman. who is going to get closer to the finished product. adam mckay is going to do gone girl it will be okay. it's to the going to be as good as spencer but you will get from a to b. spencer's anchorman is going to suck.
>> rose: bet you can't do comedy. >> i'm just saying. odds are. come on, spencer. you gave dk did-- a job, i'm here. i love social network. >> rose: so why did you want to make movies? >> i just-- like everybody else. you grow up. you love movies. you watch dr. strangelove. you watch annie hall, you watch trading places. you sitting in a big room. and you want to take-- you want to take this comedic thing, like how far can you take it. okay, i'm a come he edian, i'm on stage, i wrote a funny book, i'm being funny that way. i made a funny documentary, i'm being funny that way. okay, can i be funny on the biggest, hardest part of comedy. and you know. >> rose: and you have. >> let's hope. i'm glad, i'm glad you like it. and you-- you're in the movie, come on. >> rose: in the first five minutes too, by gosh.
>> hey, you know. >> rose: but there is also this. the evolution you had in your own confidence. so that you were the great stand-up comedian that you are. i mean tell me about, for example, what you felt when you saw martin lawrence on stage in chicago. what was that -- >> martin lawrence, my friend-- my good friend prince called, producer kpra extraordinary always says competition keeps you in condition. if there is no competition, you're screwed. i remember doing a show in chicago where martin laure lauren-- lawrence was on my opening act. i was on "saturday night live". and i didn't know it was the week before martin mania was supposed to hit, right. and normally i don't watch the opening act. and i'm in the dressing room. and i hear some commotion out, like you know, on the stage. and i think there's a fight or something going on. and i peek my head out there and people are laughing,
like bloodç is coming out. they're like-- martin lawrence killed so much. and i had to follow him and i died a death i have never died that hard ever in my life. since then, like, i've never gotten the ass-whooping that i got that night. >> rose: and you said to yourself? >> i said you know what, i'm a little cocky, i got to-- i had to rethink everything about myself as a performer, you know. everything about myself as a writer. you know, just, i just had to rethink everything. and realize, you know, there's a newera coming in. and i credit martin a lot for, you know, in a weird way. >> rose: okay, but it was a moment, a transform difficult moment. >> totally transform difficult moment for me. i knew i couldn't-- i knew
what i was doing wasn't going to last. i knew, like, also sometimes this thing happens, you come from a poor place. you're making some money and you get complacent. because as i used to say, i'm rich compared to where i'm from. i'm poor compared to where i'm at. so you know, i was at a place where i was probably making three grande week or whatever. which is a ton of money considering where i'm from. and i got lazy, you know. and i stopped, you know, being curious about comedy. that's the worst thing that can happen to anybody in life, honestly. >> about anything. >> not just comedy. >> not just comedy. just to not be curious. so i got curious again. but there is this about you, people say. you don't revel in your success because you are constantly thinking about the next place you want to go. >> yeah, i mean, i remember
when i was on saturday night me and spade used to always-- some people treated it like it was the biggest thing in the world, right. and we used to go if this is the biggest thing in the world, we're screwed. we got a lot of living to do. let's hope this is not the highlight of their life. in a weird way we probably would have succeeded more. >> i never understood why you left after three years. >> they let me leave, a. it was a culture thing going on. you know, there-- living color was on. >> rose: yeah. >> and tnl was really white. you know. >> rose: white. >> it was really white, like what my mother called the real white people. not those white people that drive buses. >> rose: over there with living color and you wanted to go to living color. >> i wanted to go to living color. >> rose: you get there and it's over in three months. >> but you know what, i got there. and you know, the world was a little more segregated then. and i don't know, i felt like i was an outsider.
i felt i wasn't involved with anything black, honestly. i was on snl. i wasn't on that much, so a lot of black people weren't watching. so living color was on. and the def comedy jam was happening. and it was february, it was black history month, and i had no gigs. and basically all the other black comedians had taken-- i used to make so much money in february. so it was time for me to leave snl. it was like, something is going on here i'm not a part of. there's a cultural thing happening. and richard pryor had kind of went through the same thing where, okay, you know, he was on ed sullivan and you know he was on merv griffin, you know, he was on these other shows. but the panthers were happening and soul train was happening. and it's like i'm richard pryor. i should be involved-- . >> rose: and he went to africa too. >> he went to africa, him and paul mooney went to san francisco and he reinvented
himself. yeah, i had to reinvent myself. >> rose: but you seem to have always had the sense that, of connection to your own blackness. >> yeah. >> rose: you want them in the audience. you want people that are african-americans in the audience, to populate the audience when you do those hbo specials because, what? >> when i do an hbo special, and this is the only time, i kind of insist on an all-black audience. and the reason i insist on an all-black audience, you know, i have done probably two specials at the apollo, my last session was in south africa, you know, south africa and the apollo in london, because sometimes i do things that are critical of black culture or critical of my people as a whole. and when you do jokes like that, it's important to cut to a black face laughing to signal-- that this is not
racist. because black people can be racist against their own people too, you know what i mean. >> rose: well, you did a whole nine minutes on that. >> yeah. we can be just as racist as anybody else. so it's kind of to relax the audience. and i don't know, and by the way, guess what, black people laugh better than white people. they are just better laughers. black people laugh with their feet. >> rose: yeah. >> when you see black people laugh and you here-- when black people are really into it, it's the mouth, the belly and the feet. while white people kind of just laugh from the neck up. >> rose: seinfeld said you can do race better than anybody else, that you can approach it better, you can put it in a way that people get to the truth of race in america better than most. >> maybe. i mean i'm from-- i'm from that era. i was bused to school in 1973. we-- we tend to think racism
is over-- . >> rose: you were bused to a white irish community. >> yeah, irish catholic, a bunch of irish kids, a lot of italian kids. yeah, i mean, think of it this way. the bridge has been the robert f. kennedy bridge for about 20 years. >> rose: yes. >> we still call it the triborough bridge. so when you pass a law, it takes like 20 years before, even though it's illegal to do certain things, it takes like 20 years or 30 years for people to like really get acclimated to things. so yeah, i got bused to school. i was called nigger all the time by students, teachers, janitors, there were protests in new york, in brooklyn, new york, go home darkie-- whatever. you know, my first day of school, like just in new york. just like anyplace, you know,
like you saw every place else. in '73. so i know it. i like, i really, really, really know it. >> rose: the moments that have been for you transform difficult, one is the martin lawrence thing. the second thing is when you went to broadway. that was a transform difficult moment for you. >> it really was. going to broadway was, first of all, the most fun i have ever had in show business. >> rose: why? >> it was fun being the rookieie. it was-- rookie, i literally never did anything, i didn't do a play in high school, you know what i mean. so just that experience. and it's not just doing a play. doing an original play. so when you do a revival, it's the same lines, you could almost rehearse from a revival in your house. nothing's going to change. when you do an original, it changes all the time, you know, when you are in that preview session.
and so to watch, to work with a play from the bottom up, and to really form a character and to work with great actors, you know, bobby, elizabeth rodriguez, you know, anna bell-- they will kill me if i don't say their name. yeah, it was just-- . >> rose: did you approach in a way, did you learn things that you could add to the total entertainer that you are? >> i learned i can be totally dramatic and totally funny at the exact same time. that one was not, you know, one did not make the other one not exist. i didn't have to be exclusive to comedy or exclusive to drama. it's like these two things can happen at the exact same time. and i wouldn't have realized that if i wasn't doing that play. without the play, the movie doesn't happen. >> rose: without the play, the movie doesn't happen. >> or the movie happens and it's not that good. >> rose: yeah.
>> the movie is silly. and the things that's really good about the movie, comedy works. but the drama really works. you know. >> and the relationships work. >> the relationships really work. s. >> rose: and the dialogue. you're talking about contemporary culture in this. >> and you believe the relationship. you believe ben is my dad, you believe me and rosario. you believe-- they're not-- it's not a sketch. there is not a bunch of sketches in the movie. it's line-- you know, it's a drama with a lot of jokes. >> so was's up, you trying to pick me up. >> yeah, man, sorry. i didn't have one of them little sizes am i'm jazz ed. >> we are promoting your joe, how was your flight, good. >> great. >> great, great, tickets are a little slow because of the-- we will have big wall. >> okay. >> so about how far is the
hotel, i'm starving. >> about 45 minutes. rao rao slr there, this is my town, anything you need, you let the brother g i'm the [bleep] man, anything you need, coke, weed, drink, you know,. >> i'm good. >> because i'm the [bleep] man. i'm going to tell you that right now [bleep] man, in houston, baby. >> rose: scott ruden is the producer. >> superproducer scott ruden. >> rose: but what role did he play in this movie? did he give you the confidence to be what you knew you could be? >> scott ruden got me to run at a speed i didn't know i could run, you know. i didn't know-- i didn't know i could do all these things. >> you know what scott ruden taught me? the best people in the world are a phone call away. >> so. >> i always try to not get the best people in the world. no disrespect to other people i have worked with. but i'm big on not bothering anyone. scott will brother anybody.
he don't care. he don't care. so hey, i would have never called you, you know what i mean. i wanted you in the movie. scott's like so what he's busy. so what he's got-- so what he does a cbs morning show. so what he's got three jobs. he will want to do this. >> he was right. >> but you're not-- no money. >> for no money. scott does not care. so what kevin hart has got plenty jobs. so what he is the highest paid guy. let's get him here. that's scott. >> rose: let them say no. >> until they say no, we got a shot. so you know, we got the best actors in the world. we got the best dp in the world. you know, like. >> rose: but tell me how scott ruden and others got inside your head. because scott said to you i want to capture the spirit of you, first of all as a young comic in the movie.
and i wantq-to see you in this movie as a star. >> scott believed in me as a leading man. i never believed in me as a leading man. i don't-- you know, a leading man has to have a certain level of sex appeal. i done think of myself as having sex appeal. a leading man has to be-- . >> rose: oh, come on. >> come on, ego, down. you know. a leading man has to lead. i don't imagine anybody following me. i think of, you know, in my head i'm lolla and zara's dad, you know what i mean. and that's pretty much it. i don't really think of other people-- . >> rose: but you can go in front of an audience-- but you know you can go in front of an audience with a carefully developed routine and entertain them so they're on their feet. >> yes. i am like the
frog-- i'm-- did you ever see that cartoon, disney, the warner brothers cartoon where the frogs can sing. and then whenever the frog is not on stage, he goes ribity, ribity. i am so much like that frog. stand up, i am freddie mercury up there, you know what i mean. >> rose: but that's the point of this movie. >> you get me off stand-up. >> rose: that's the point of this movie. it has brought you to appreciate yourself beyond stand-up. >> yes. >> rose: you have at long last done not only what you wanted to do, but more importantly what other people wanted you to do. >> more importantly. yes, yes. >> rose: tell me about writing it, and what you wanted to create. because people have said this is about fame, it's about celebrity, it's about wanting to be taken for something you're not necessarily taken for. >> okay, i got to go back a little bit. because a lot of-- i have to give credit to louis c.k.. and here's the deal.
okay. louis owes me, i owe louis. he owes me because at some point in his career i literally told him i'm not going to be your friend any more if you keep writing for people. i'm line-- he was writing stuff for dana harvy and this one and that one, and pitching shows to sandler's company. i'm like no, dude, you're the star. you're the star. you're funny. you should have a show. stop pitching other people's shows. so i'm going to sit here on the charlie rose show and take all the credit for louis c.k.. i'm going to-- . >> rose: you made him be what he is today. >> his managers wanted him to-- his managers and his agentedz wanted him to perform. >> wanted him to do stuff for other people. they were making money. and everybody thought he should be working for other people. and i thought that guy is a star, okay. and in turn, me and louis have the greatest friendship and i love the guy dearly.
louis companies to me, whatever, before i started writing this he goes you've got to write it by yourself. you have to write it by yourself. even me and louis wrote a movie together. he is like no, no, no. you got to get in a room. and you have to feel lonely, you have to feel the pain that -- the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to write by yourself. and be in a hole and just stair at a piece of pair and have no one to help you get out of this thing but you. he is like you always write with people. and you enup with a watered down version of you. and you have to write by yourself. so louis made me write by myself. i had only written stand-up. i only did in stand-up. and you know, when you write with other people you get a consensus. you know. there's some great scripts-- . >> rose: but are you in the room by yourself. >> when are you in that room by yourself, there is something emotional happens.
something spiritual comes out of you when are you in that room by yourself, you know. and you're living in your head. and you know, you're really your secret thoughts. you're not trying to get approval of anybody when you're in there by yourself. and i think that comes across in the movie. like when i'm doing stand-up, when i'm doing stand-up, i know i got an hour and a half. it's okay if i piss you off right now. i'll get you down the li. you know what i mean, it's okay. okay you're mad right now. hang out. you'll be-- don't worry you're going to leave here happy. >> i'm coming back. >> yeah. and normally when i did movies in the past, i was always scared of people who-- at any given moment. and there's none of that. >> you were editing yourself. >> totally editing myself. so there is none of that fear in it. >> rose: and who did you want to create in this, who is andre allen? >> he is you?
>> he's a little me, a little me, a little eddie murphey, a little martin law wednesday, chris tucker. it's like there is this journey, i remember seinfeld said to me years ago, when my first big hbo special hit. he goes, now they're going to give you the kit. was's the kit? well, inside the kit is the book deal. inside the kit is a tv show. inside the kit, the movie offers, you're going to host the-- like he literally told me everything that was about to happen for me, in the kit. so there's a lot of us that have a shared experience. i want to do a movie kind of like, about in some ways about black fame. so being famous as a black guy is a little different than being famous as a white guy. tom hanks is an amazing acker. denzel washington is a god to his people. okay. denzel washington has a
responsibility to his people that tom cruise and you know, liam kneeson don't have. they just make their art. and no one, no one goes hey, tom cruise, i don't even know what nationality tom cruise s what is he-- . >> rose: i don't know. >> you don't even know. stay white. don't forget your whiteness. >> come back and visit white people. what you doing for white people, tom cruise. nobody says that to tom cruise. stallone, what you doing for italians, man. what are you doing for-- no one says that. but-- . >> rose: what do they say to denzel. >> they want to know that denzel, that denzel is involved in his community. that denzel loves his people. that denzel is doing stuff for his people. and they feel denzel's highs and lows more than white people feel-- tom hanks does
a bad movie, there's going to be another good movie by somebody white next week. it's like, you know, when denzel does a bad movie, i might not see a good black movie for a year. i am really left out here hanging sglz did you-- . >> rose: did you feel that yourself in that room when you were writing and making this movie. >> a little bit. >> rose: i'm going letdown f this not as good as it can be and not as good as my friends have told me they want it to be, that i am letting down not just my friends, but a whole bunch of people who identify with me because i'm an african-american man who made it. >> yeah. and i just wanted to touch what that is to walk that line, you know. like lebron is going through it right now. you know what i mean. lebron has got this thing where he's responsible for the happiness of cleveland and the poor kids of cleveland.
larry bird came up just as poor as lebron. but nobody is like larry bird owes indiana. no one is saying this. >> rose: and lebron has got cleveland on his back. >> literally has this whole state. he has the pressure that no white athlete i've ever seen have. >> rose: so what did chris rock have in terms of pressure? >> you have a pressure-- you have a pressure to project a certain amount of dignity at all times. which is odd when you're a comedian because some things, comedians have cloud too. and you know, sometimes the comedy is in being undignified. you know what i mean, sometimes the comedy is having a pie in your face or you know, just-- you know, having it together all the time. you know, vanity is kind of
the enemy of comedy, a lot of times. i've heard jamie fox say this a lot that jim karrie does thing those black comedian could ever get away with because black people lose their minds. i can't believe he's talking ot of his ass. tyler perry gets a lot of flack for wearing a dress or whatever. people think it's undignified. but it's funny. it's funny. tyler perry gets slapped for things milton burrell does. >> putting on a dress. >> yeah, putting on a dress. dain edna, like you know, you know. you know a lot of-- and he's done some great work that some people ignore kuz he put on a dress. being funny is not always the most dignified. and what am i trying to say -- --. >> rose: well, here's what they say about you as a stand-up. >> but i love mede a&m edea
always brings it back. >> rose: but they have said about you and have written about you that what was interesting about you, you were this guy who was perfectly tailored this guy who would go on stage and within your own body, that you didn't-- that there was a kind of elegance. but what was coming out of your mouth was the most, the funniest and the most satirical and you would go right to the edge of where you can go with comedy. but doing it in this guy who was so very, very dignified. is that true? not true. you don't know. >> the dignified thing. people-- people paid money to dress me. so i mean, you know, dignity, that's my -- >> tell me where you think this movie brings you in terms of how you see the future. because you will soon be 50. >> yes, i will be 50. i will be 50, which means i'm really-- i'm old.
i'm actually old. the only time, the only time 50 is young is when you die at 50 or when you are dating cher but otherwise it's-- cher got another young boy. >> rose: oh stop it. >> otherwise-- . >> rose: let her have her fun. >> i like cher. >> give piece a nice hello at her awards show every now and then. calls me over. >> rose: where are you now. this movie say success. >> let's hope so. >> rose: you hope so financialically. but it is. we know that everybody who cares about you has already seen the movie. and they know you have delivered on what they believe you could deliver on. dr. my mouth to god's lips or whatever. so where are you? are you going to make-- scott ruden wants you to make another movie within two or three years because you have gone to a place that you really wanted to go to. >> yeah, i want to make a movie with him in two or
three years, absolutely. absolutely. warren beatty, i remember t is so weird, that dinner was so long ago. and i remember he said to me, you know, it's only a success if it leads to another job. you know what i mean. like it's literally do you make the people that you work for happy? do they want to work with you again? do other people want to work with you because of this work? those are, you know, i hope people like the movie. but you know, i hope the movie makes money. but you know what, i have had movies or have been in movies, that have made hundreds of millions of dollars. >> rose: but that's not what you wanted to do. >> that no one has ever called me about work for. that literally, that movie made 300 million and not one call. hey, we saw you in that movie. we have a job for you. and i have got movies that made nothing that i always get called about. like two days in new york
with julie-- i get calls, people saw me in that and want to hire me all the time. or people saw good hair, and-- . >> rose: the documentary. >> and i get offers, do you want to be involved in this documentary. i am hoping i can combine the two. i'm hoping i can get the critical acclaim of good hair and the money of madagascar 3, you know what i mean. >> rose: oh, yeah. >> bill murray. >> bill murray's like, you know, perhaps top three funniest human beings to ever walk the earth. and the guy you most likely want to hang out with and drop his name like yeah, i know bill murray. i was talking with bill murray the other day. >> charlie chaplin. >> charlie chaplin started this [bleep] krs one of comedy. >> the grand master flash. >> i think people actually read-- i say that and they're like oh, yeah, you know, i really, i really love-- you haven't read truman capote, stop. >> richard pryor is the most honest human being.
even jesus didn't tell his followers everything. >> eddie murphy. >> i once saw murphy and michael jackson within two months of each other. and eddie was better. >> too much love is as bad as no love at all. that kind of broke my heart. >> it's hard to [bleep] somebody on a pedestal. >> rose: but let me talk about heroes, charlie chaplin. >> yeah, charlie chaplin. >> why. >> he blazed his own trail. he did exactly what he wanted to do. >> and he was funny. >> he was hysterical and you know, i mean, he pretty much made what comedy was in his time. you know, woody is a hero. >> rose: he's more than a hero. he is who you want to be. >> in some aspects. >> rose: no, no, but he is. you want -- >> it is what we all want. we all want a woody allen deal that reshoots are in
the budget and we can cast anybody we want. and full autonomy. we also want to be that good. >> rose: that's what i mean. >> that good. yes, i would love to be that good. i'm striving to be that good, you know. and keep pushing the envelope. i mean as i always tell my agent, when you represent black talent, if you are not making history, you're not doing anything. you have got to constantly be like okay what am i not allowed to do. let's make a movie that goes to the toronto film festival and and is also funny and dramatic. >> we are going to have a-- next and he is going to be lucky enough. and might even be gay and we will have an asian president and we will have another-- handy capped president. >> we are not going to have one. >> yes, we will, we already
had one. >> i mean out of the closet handicap president. >> people knew he was handicapped. >> i got nothing against the handicap but not everybody is as liberal for me. you run for president, you don't roll for president, you reason a campaign, you don't roll a campaign. >> are you horrible, that is sick. >> i'm not horrible. >> what is wrong with you. >> i'm the one voting for the mexican lesbian handi cap president. >> as a director, how was sne. >> amazing, actually that was one of those things when are you about to work with a friend and you have, you know, you have ideas and all these different things. >> rose: and you want somebody to get the best out of you. >> somebody to push you, exactly. he would listen to me when i would say we need this dramatic pause or different things because i know my drama. and i bite my nails and get really nervous that he would go there is going to be funny, trust me. you will work again. you will be able to show your face in daylight and have hot spots in public. don't worry about it. trust me. i know my comedy. and i felt like what is so different about us, and what is so great about us was
that much more developed and that much more pushed. because it wasn't-- he doesn't, he doesn't fight you. it's not like he had all these incredible talents and trying so desperately that he is the big guy. there wasn't like this -- i'm sure he's got a huge ego but if didn't feel like that it dpelt like he wanted everyone to be their greatness. that is why i feel like there is no cameos in this movey because everyone has a shining solo moment. he pushed that for me as well. and it was amazing, you know, i call him, he says he's the protector. he says he wasn't the director, he is the protector, he protected the idea, the friends, the location, i called him the conductor. you know, he really, it was like all these incredible instruments, trace mooer began, you know, whoopi goldberg and jerry seinfeld, adam sandler. these a amazing, amazing people. and we go, and let them hit that high note and just when you thought okay, they're feeling pleased, you can see, they are starting to run out of breath, he would just
keep it going. oh, the guy with his back to the audience, maybe the guy not on camera night now, he knows how far he can push you. and he gets that thing out of everybody. de that, he did that with every single person and they shine in this movie. and he didn't back off. he said in his previous films he would do a show right after, right during, and we save his jokes for that special he was going to do. >> and he didn't do that. he said we're going to -- i'm going to put everything into it and i want all of you to do the same and we did. >> are you also the director of this movie. >> yes. >> where did you learn to direct? >> i didn't learn to direct. i learned how to direct from directingment i learn how to direct from watching the people direct me. from dic donor and neil will buk and john landis and you know, tamara davis and just watching the really good directors. i got to work with in the past. i know i'm leaving out a lot of people.
and i also, i remember, it is going to be a long time ago. >> john singleton am i asked him about directing. he goes i'm not the director, i'm the protector. so he's like, he had to protect my script. i have an idea. and there is, you know, some ideas you have, there is just not a lot of people to execute them, you know what i mean. and especially, i always say when it's time to hire directors, once you get off the a list you might as well do it yourself. >> yeah. >> you just might as well. >> yes. >> hey, if he wants to direct me, i'm right here. if alexander pain wants to direct me, you can have these head phones, you know what i mean. if woody wants to direct me, anybody. >> if not you will direct yourself. >> yes. >> if they're not, then -- >> do you have to be in the movie? >> not particularly but it probably, helps gets some funning. and it's always weird when
people, and i'm sending a message out to certain people. actually i'm not going to say her name. but any time somebody offers you something they are not in, it's kind of an insult. it's an insult. hey, i got this tv show i think you should do. are you going to be on it? no. you should do it. >> rose: it is not good enough for you y is if good enough for me. >> it is the biggest insult. you can give people, honestly. i want you to do this thing i'm not going to be on. >> rose: stand-up will always be at the core of your life. >> yes, stand-up will always be at the core of my life. >> rose: why is that? >> i like it i really like it i kind of love it and by the way, this is where i make my money. >> when you're making little movies, it's mine, you know what i mean. there's a lot of great directors. a lot of great writers a lot
of great actors. there's about eight great stand-ups, about eight guys that really guys and women that can really, really, really throw down for an hour and 20 minutes, hour and a half and you know --. >> rose: what's interesting. louis c.k. told me once that it takes about 15 years to get really, really goodment you were really, really good pretty early. >> i was good, i was good, a club lel of good. pretty early. it does take about 15 years for me to become a guy good enough to get on the charlie rose show, you know. i made money before. >> rose: or to get him to be in your movie. >> to get charlie rose in my movie. you know how good i had to get to do that. so it does take about 15 years. and stand-up isn't music. there's no justin bieber of stand-up, you know. there's no-- there's no iggy azalea.
>> rose: if you can't make them laugh. >> you have to have life experience. you have to have loved and lost, you know. to actually be a good stand-up. you got to have-- you got to have highs and lows. >> rose: and you have to live. >> you have to have really lived for an audience to take that journey with you. >> rose: i mean you still go back to the places where you began? because that's where youuv#e can make sure it is as good as you want to make it? >> yeah, you have to go back to the places where you began to make sure, it's not music. so there's no curby studio to go in. you know what i mean? i have watched enough rocky movies, six rockies, three really good ones, right. and any time rockie. >> rose: even the godfather number three was not that that good. >> any time rockie is not training in a dirty gym, he gets knocked out. every time rocky tried to make it classy, and nicer, he ended up on his back. so yeah, you got to go exactly where you started.
>> rose: at 50 to be. >> 50, that is a rich 50, makes it about 38. it's not real 50. i got friends that are really 50. they don't look-- . >> rose: they are not as rich as are you. >> i'm just saying. we look different. this is a drastic difference. >> rose: so what does money give you. >> what does money give you. i mean in looks, it takes a little gut away. gives you an extra hour to exercise every day. >> rose: but i mean you're not a guy with an entourage. >> no, i'm the nonentourage guy. >> rose: you really are. you don't have a guy on the phone saying he's coming down right now, have the car door ready. >> no i've never done that. you know, i got to hang out with murphy early on. >> rose: eddie. >> and he does that. and he needs it. he-- he had, he was a movie star when there weren't a lot of movie stars, a black movie star when there were none, you know what i mean. he needs it. but i always thought the
entourage separated you from the audience. and it separated you from-- i think you have to be uncomfortable sometimes to really, to be really funny, i think. i think a lot of your comedy comes from being uncomfortable. and i think-- . >> rose: a lot of comedy comes from being uncomfortable, you have to be scared? >> a little scared but you also have to live in your head. >> rose: you know what i mean. >> an artist has to live in his head and it's hard to live in your head when are you surrounded by people, you know what i mean. so no disrespect to anybody with the entourage. it's just not my thing. it's just not my thing. i-- when i'm in an entourage, hopefully it's a bunch of creative people. so it's me and louis and seinfeld and ced the entertainer, you know, like, or steve harvey, i like-- i like being around nothing against a good bodyguard. sometimes you need them.
but i don't feel like having a nice day of-- a nice conversation about bodyguarding. >> rose: as you go forward, are you going to try to balance stand-up and balance acting, directing starring in movies? >> yeah, the last few years i have done less stand-up because my kids are just-- your kids are only young once, you know what i mean. so you try to-- . >> rose: and stand up puts you on the road. >> stand-up takes you away, that's the thing. so i have tried to just live a life where i can live in new york. so i did a play in new york. i, you know, i will take your writing job, scott ruden, because i get to do it in new york. oh, okay, groupup films in boston, okay, it's a three hour drive. i can-- i have tried to be in new york as much as possible. as my kids get older and don't want to be around me, frankly, and want to go to camp and stuff, yes, i will be more out there as a stand-up.
>> rose: you were funny. but not the funniest guy in the room. >> no. >> rose: so how did you get where you are? >> i mean, most successful people aren't the best guy in the room. they just aren't. >> rose: they work hard. >> michael jordan tells stories about, he wasn't the best basketball team. >> rose: didn't make the team. >> didn't make the team, okay. there is a-- the great thing about not being the best in the room is you know you have to work at it. so it's great not being the best in the room. and it's made me work, you know, i grew up, hammie, my friend louis hamilton, way funnier than me. dave barton, way funnier, like guys-- . >> rose: and you made it and-- bigger than they did because --. >> i had to work harder at it. i had to-- comedy wasn't, didn't just pour out of me it was something i had to think about a little bit intellectually. and just being liked wasn't,
you know, i never did anything well until i got on stage. >> rose: you found your home. >> yeah it was literally like it was a calling. i did nothing -- nothing i did well. and to this day my friend mario, his nick name for me is just jokes. because i suck at everything else. the simple-- simplest task, oh, yeah, i forgot, just jokes. >> rose: what do you want to do that you haven't even come to grips with yourself in terms of your future? you have a successful movie. you have posted-- you have hosted the oscars. >> i have worked the oscars, yes. >> rose: you do great stand-up. >> i like being the guy that hosted the oscars and the bet awards. liked that. >> rose: is there one thing s there something that maybe you guys can come to grips with that really you would like to -- >> i don't know.
i think, i think i want to do a drama. not to be taken serious just because the story is to be told. >> rose: like nat turner. >> i would not mind doing the nat turner story. i can't believe i have lived to see the day that hollywood's bankrolling black stories again with big budgets. so yeah, the nat turner story intrigues me. it's like when we hear the name nat turner we think it's a big guy but when you read about nat turner. >> he's a nerd. >> he's a nerd. an educated slave who told him how to play the piano and read and all this stuff and nat turner didn't even like black people. nat turner was a snob. and nat turner, his-- pa master goes broke, sells him away and is being treated like a slave for the first time in his life. and he's kind of-- i can't say he lost his mind. he either lost his mind or
found his mind. and thus we have this big revolt. and you know, the biggest slave revolt in the history of america. so i don't know, it's just an interesting story to me. it's an interesting thing to play. and it's an action movie. i'm not saying it would have had no jokes in it. i'm not saying, you know there is humor in everything. but i don't know, that one, i've been looking at that one lately. >> my guess is you will probably do it. >> let's hope so. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> congratulations, thanks it for doing my movie. >> pleasure. >> it is our movie. we're always going to have it. we're always going to have this. >> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us on-line at pbs.org and charlie rose.com.
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