NEW YORK — "Inside the Actors Studio" host James Lipton described Dave Chappelle's recent soul-baring appearance on the Bravo show as one of its standout interviews.
"He was emotionally and intellectually naked," Lipton said. "Dave was unforgettable."
And on Tuesday night in New York, at the premiere of his new movie, "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" (see "Fugees — Yes, Even Lauryn — Reunite For Dave Chappelle's Block Party"), the comedian explained why walking away from "Chappelle's Show" was the best thing he could have done.
"It's difficult, I guess, in a lot of ways, but I guess it's better to have it off your chest," Chappelle said about telling his side of the story to Lipton and, prior to that, Oprah Winfrey (see "Dave Chappelle Comes Clean On 'Oprah' "). "So ... yeah, man. Let the healing begin. No looking back, right?"
Moving forward, Dave is putting out his first movie in years on Friday. In attendance at the premiere were Lipton and many of the documentary/concert film's main players: Mos Def, the Roots, Talib Kweli and Erykah Badu.
"It was a really good experience for all of us," said a raspy-voiced Badu, who seemed to be suffering from a cold, on the red carpet. "We each used our platforms to make other statements besides entertainment. We're artists who are often unheard. And Dave has chosen to define himself. I'm with that and I love him for that."
| Dave Chappelle, Mos Def, More At "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" Premiere|
| "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" Photos|| "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" Trailer|
"I'm not looking at it like I'm giving them an opportunity at all," Chappelle said. "I'm just happy to be a part of something like this. I have the utmost respect for these artists. They really stay true to the music. One of the hardest things to do in this business — as you probably know — is to stay true to yourself. So that's the fight, and I think we're putting up a good fight."
Chappelle's movie was filmed two summers ago in Brooklyn and his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The centerpiece is a huge concert/block party with some of his favorite artists. Chappelle also is shown organizing the event and inviting several people in his hometown to attend.
If you're speculating what Chappelle's next move will be once the film is released, you're definitely not the only one. He says he doesn't have anything in the works as of yet.
"I'm just trying to enjoy the moment," he added. "I've learned to appreciate the moments when you got them."
Kanye West, Jill Scott, Dead Prez and the Fugees also appear in the movie. (And if you look really closely, you'll see MTV's own Sway in the background of several scenes.)
"Dave Chappelle's Block Party" hits theaters Friday.
Check out everything we've got on "Dave Chappelle's Block Party."
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