Recently there seems to have been a resurgence of Chris Rock in media and it’s all for the better. After a short-lived hiatus from television and the big screen, Chris returns with a film that is guaranteed to make even the uptight chuckle. Amidst the expected laughs that come with any Chris Rock production lies the deeper themes that speak to the current state of society.  Written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, “TOP FIVE” tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career—and the past—that he’s left behind.  Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Romany Malco, Leslie Jones, Michael Che, and Jay Pharoah.  The film is produced by Scott Rudin and Eli Bush.  The Co-Producers are Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and Kanye West; the Executive Music Producer is Questlove.

Heed sat down with Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd and Ben Vereen to hear their take on the film.

Sherri Shepherd – It’s very hard to corral a bunch of comics…there’s so much freedom with Chris. He lets you go and go and go and that’s where you find that magic.

Rosario Dawson – What’s good about Chris is he gave us his ‘baby’ and says, “I want to get there…I didn’t assemble all these people to kiss my ass”. He wanted real feedback. Just because you have that much talent in a film doesn’t mean it will be remarkable.

Gabrielle Union – In the film I play this character who has this addiction within the entertainment industry to fame. She doesn’t have any quantifiable talent but she wants the validation that comes with staying relevant.

Ben Vereen – To write, direct and act in a film is a unique gift. I would be on set and would have a problem with my line and Chris would literally be mouthing my lines to me. It’s remarkable.

J.B. Smoove – Stand-up is pace, delivery and timing.  I think the way Chris did this movie…it has a stand-up feel. All the rules of comedy apply here.

Chris Rock – I’m not the director. I’m the protector. You gotta protect it because there’s nothing like writing a bad comedy. With drama you get credit simply for completion (laughs). It’s my job to make sure all this stuff works.

Provocative, controversial, poignant and hysterical, this movie delivers on what most have come to expect from comedic Veteran Chris Rock. I laughed, I pondered, I loved it.
– Publisher, Heed Magazine

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