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Look out for more coverage of
Head of State in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Head of State

THE STARS:
Chris Rock • Bernie Mac
DIRECTOR: Chris Rock

Head of State THE CONCEPT:
In the middle of a campaign, a Presidential candidate dies unexpectedly and the Democratic party chooses a Washington D.C. alderman, Mays Gilliam (Rock) as his replacement, who enlists his unsophisticated brother (Mac) to be his running mate.

U.S. RELEASE: March 28 2003, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

CHRIS ROCK:
ďI had a lot of fun directing. The challenge was knowing the technical things, lights and sound and organizing the crew and stuff like that. But it was just great to get more jokes in a movie then Iíve had in before.Ē

BERNIE MAC:
ďIíd give Chris a B+ and Iíll tell you why, because if youíre going to have a directorial debut itís good that you do something that youíve created, written and of which you have your own personal vision. I think he was a little nervous because all eyes were on him Ė he produced, wrote and was starring in it Ė thatís a lot of hats to try and wear. Then youíre working with your colleagues and your peers, thatís pressure because you donít know how theyíre going to take you. I think Chris was a little bewildered about how he was going to give me my notes, being a friend of mine. So when he came to me and gave me my first note, I relished it. I gave him the same respect that I give any director.Ē

CHRIS ROCK:
ďIíve always been a big fan of Bernieís. Iíve probably known him for fifteen or sixteen years. And playing my brother works perfectly because heís a little older than me, heís a little bigger than me. We work really well together. Bernie Macís got the best show on TV.Ē

BERNIE MAC:
ďIím a comedian. I love to make people laugh at the most inopportune time. I used to love Red Skelton, because he used to make me cry as a little boy, because he was so humble and so sincere. He touched me, and I told my mother, ĎThatís what I want to do, if I can make you laugh and cry, thatís power.Ē

CHRIS ROCK:
ďI think I got a decent performance out of myself, if I do say so myself. I donít think youíre going to notice people saying, ĎBoy he canít act now.í I think it looked fine. This is a comedy, so Iím doing a lot of silly, silly stuff in it. I hope they donít go, ĎHey, Chris Rock acted like a fool in that movie, we canít elect Colin Powell.íĒ

BERNIE MAC on replacing Bill Murray in the second of the Charlieís Angels films:
ďIím like the narrator. Iím the guy who gives (the girls) the message from Charlie. Bill Murray is my brother from another mother, and heís really adopted. We came from a detective family, and Bill used to come home and tell us all these high flying stories about these three beautiful women, and of course we didnít believe him. But then he goes on a special mission, and who else can take his place, as heís been briefing me all these years? I come and learn on the job. The girls take me in with open arms Ė itís a beautiful thing.Ē

CHRIS ROCK:
ďStand up comedy is hard and itís limiting in a sense. All your ideas just donít fit into stand up - Head of State was bigger than stand up. I just wanted to see how far I could go. Charlie Chaplin used to write his movies, produce them, direct them, and do the score for them. So I want to see how far I can go and how good I can be.Ē

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Head of State site
Images above © DreamWorks
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #628, March 2003 cover

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