Chris Rock was able to do the impossible, and make J.J. Abrams squeal. Chris Rock seduced J.J. Abrams into spilling career secrets during an interview session at the Tribeca Film Festival. It took a guy only with the clout of Chris Rock to bring fans closer to knowing every single detail about J.J. Abrams’ career. Besides the Star Wars and Star Trek talk, Chris Rock lulled Abrams into engaging in discussion about everything from Batman v Superman to the Fantastic Four. With almost nothing left to reveal, J.J. Abrams stepped off of the stage, not knowing the spell he was under from Rock’s charm.
The Tribeca Film Festival interview was fitting, since Rock and Abrams recently worked together to make the hilarious parody film reel that was shown at the Oscars. It was their first time working together, and Abrams hinted that it shouldn’t be their last. Hopefully that means that Chris Rock is getting a role in one of the future Star Wars films.
Chris Rock was even able to make Abrams reveal the question on everyone’s mind. Both Chris and the audience, and now the world, found out that the two Js in J.J. Abrams stand for Jeffrey Jacob. Now if that isn’t a scoop, than nothing is. Even the other big revelation that night, that in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey’s parents are not in the film, does not compare with finally knowing what “J.J.” stands for. As for Rey’s parents not being in the film, Abrams later backtracked slightly, in a follow up interview with Entertainment Weekly. So, he is still leaving room for interpretation on Rey’s origins.
Abrams also talked about his first movie directing experience. He told Chris Rock about how he had mainly directed television shows up until the point Tom Cruise offered him the option to direct Mission: Impossible III. Before that, Abrams had worked on films holding non-directing roles, even on some really stupid movies. But his career caught fire after his work on Felicity, Alias, and then of course, Lost. And his TV success would only lead to bigger opportunities in movies, culminating with his revival of Star Wars. That’s the pinnacle for Abrams, at least until his next major project comes about.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) April 16, 2016
Abrams also explained the whole lens flare thing. He apologized to the public again for his obsession with bright light streaks. He explained that it’s a result of his movie making philosophy about the universe having so much energy that it spills out across the camera lens. He explained how his production people were so accustomed to him using it that they would add it to more shots than even Abrams would want it in, and they would have to go back and remove it. It’s interesting how Abrams took what is mostly regarded as a photographic mistake, and made it his trademark.
— Vulture (@vulture) April 16, 2016
But despite all the revelations from Abrams, during the interview, Chris Rock offered more practical knowledge and experience for up-and-coming show business hopefuls. Newsweek reported what advice he offered those hungry actors who are trying to figure out how to get cast in a movie like Star Wars.
“You will take meetings with the same people your whole career. They will move to different companies, and you’ll think they’ve gone, but they’ll be there and you’ll see them again.”
He went on to describe how even the smallest opportunity can lead to something bigger, like it did for him. Chris was cast in a movie called Comedy’s Dirtiest Dozen, which floundered and never got a full release, but somehow caught the attention of Lorne Michaels and led to his Saturday Night Live gig. So, Chris Rock advised the audience to fully utilize every opportunity, no matter how small.
[Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival]