Chris Rock Once Revealed Why He Doesn’t Want to Be Like Jim Carrey

The 2022 Academy Awards wasn’t exactly memorable in the way it was supposed to be. Nevertheless, stars like Will Smith and Chris Rock are on everyone’s minds now. As Smith continues to deal with the aftermath of his actions on the Oscars stage, Rock is back in the public consciousness just as his stand-up comedy tour kicked off. From the beginning, Rock maintained that comedy was his first love, and he once revealed how it informed his movie career.

Chris Rock wears glasses and poses on the red carpet
Chris Rock | Roy Rochlin

Chris Rock has appeared in a ton of movies over the years

Even Rock’s most loyal fans probably wouldn’t consider him a movie star. After all, it’s not what he’s best known for, as he has seen far more success on stage and television. But Rock has a lot of movie credits to his name. In the 1980s, this extended to mostly tiny roles in films such as Beverly Hills Cop 2 and I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. But by the 1990s, Rock was breaking out with supporting turns in New Jack City, Lethal Weapon 4, and Dogma.

The 2000s and beyond saw Rock slide into the role of big-screen leading man. Films such as Down to Earth and Head of State proved he could hold his own on screen. Moreover, Rock even directed the latter film, giving him a whole new way to bring his voice to moviegoers. And as the years progressed, Rock seemingly had a master plan behind how he chose his movie roles and how he wanted the audience to see him.

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The actor never wanted to do what Jim Carrey did

In a 2005 interview, Rock discussed his movie career, which was at a crossroads at that point. The previous few years had seen Rock pop up in a variety of projects, including the live-action/animated Osmosis Jones, dark comedy Nurse Betty, and stoner comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. But what just about all his movie roles had in common — according to Rock — was a focus on laughs. Even 2002’s Bad Company balanced action and comedy.

​​”People want comedians to be funny,” Rock told The Guardian. “I mean, I love Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, but it ain’t a better performance than in Dumb And Dumber. I can do serious roles sometimes in other people’s movies but not in one of my own. I don’t want to ask my fans to come and not laugh at me. ‘Hey! Come on, let’s go see Chris Rock not be funny!'”

Chris Rock has since branched out from comedy

Ironically, Rock has spread his wings a bit since this interview. The comedian has directed two more films, 2007’s I Think I Love My Wife and 2014’s Top Five. Both blend comedic and dramatic elements. And he’s also stepped outside his comfort zone with straight-up dramatic roles on TV’s Fargo and the 2021 horror film Spiral: From the Book of Saw, which he also executive produced.

So although Rock will always be a comedian first and foremost, he has seemingly become more interested in building a more diverse skill set. At the moment, Rock is back at what he does best, performing stand-up comedy on his Ego Death World Tour. That tour extends throughout 2022, ultimately bringing him back to the Dolby Theatre — the site of the infamous Oscars slap — in November.

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