Death isn't funny. But when you have people like Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan and Zoe Saldana around, it sure helps. And when it comes to "Death at a Funeral," the movie itself is nearly as funny as the stars' real-life thoughts on the subject of the dearly deceased.
"I've been to funerals and have seen wives fight mistresses. That's always a good fight," grinned Rock, who stars in the film about a wild family whose dirty laundry is hilariously exposed at the funeral of the family's patriarch. "I've seen people meet siblings they didn't know they had: 'I'm your brother, huh?'
"I've had relatives in orange jumpsuits from prisons," Rock added. "It's almost as sad as the funeral itself."
"The character I play, Ryan, is a successful writer," said Lawrence, another veteran comedian in the flick. "He doesn't have any money — but his family doesn't know that. Me and Chris Rock's character Aaron, he plays my brother, we kind of have a sibling rivalry."
When it came time to shoot the film, Lawrence told us the mood was hardly funereal. "It was a lot of fun, but it wasn't crazy at all," he insisted, saying that although a lot of improv occurred, everyone stayed very professional. "We all had a lot of respect for each other; we all understand where each other comes from, because we've been in the game a long time. We'd sit back and enjoy the humor from each other. So it was very comfortable."
One uncomfortable (yet key) part of "Death at a Funeral" and any real-life funeral is the eulogy. It's a testament to a person's life, a chance to praise them and put their life into poetry. In real life, Rock and Lawrence were in agreement about the real-life hip-hop figure they'd most love to have deliver their eulogy.
"Jay-Z," said Rock without missing a beat. "It would be pretty sad. He has some songs [that are] like eulogies anyway. So that would be good. Everyone in my family would be into Jay."
"I'd have to get Jay-Z," Lawrence agreed. "But I have a lot of favorites: 50 Cent, Eminem, LL Cool J, Ice Cube — don't get me started on all of the rappers that I would want to do my eulogy. If there is anyone's name I left out, believe me, we just don't have enough time."
Are you excited to see "Death at a Funeral"? Which rapper would you like to have deliver your eulogy? Let us know in the comments below!
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