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Chris Rock Comes "Down to Earth" in Remake

Aired February 15, 2001 - 2:55 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN ANCHOR: In 1978, Warren Beatty scored a box office hit with "Heaven Can Wait," a remake of 1941's "Here Comes Mr. Jordon." Well now, it's Chris Rock's turn. He has remade the tale a third time. This time it's called, "Down to Earth."

Bill Tush, who's not very down-to-earth, sat down with the comedian for a down-to-earth conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DOWN TO EARTH")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What we can do for you is put you in somebody else's body as long as no one knows he's dead yet, OK?

CHRIS ROCK, ACTOR: Wait a minute, how am I supposed to do my act in someone else's body?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BILL TUSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We all know this was "Heaven Can Wait" originally.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, HEAVEN CAN WAIT")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Joe, we can put you into another man's body, provided that his death has not yet been discovered.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Are you kidding? You're going to put into the body of another man?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUSH: What made you find that film and say, let's remake it?

ROCK: I was aware of Warren Beatty, but I wasn't aware of the legend of Warren Beatty. Warren Beatty was like Charo to me. I just didn't know why he was famous. I had seen, you know, "Bugsy," and "Dick Tracy, " and "Ishtar." I'm like why is everybody kissing this guy's ass?

I decided to watch some of his older movies just to get a sense of who the guy was. And, you know, I watched "Reds" and was like wow, this is great. And when I watched "Heaven Can Wait," it was like oh, my God.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROCK: The first kiss is always like double dutch. You just sit there when do I get in? When do I get in?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUSH: Well, let's talk about you in this movie. So, you put yourself in the role of Lance. Instead of being a boxer or a football player, you want to be a stand-up comedian. You want to be the best stand-up comedian.

ROCK: Well, I want to be a decent stand-up -- I just want to not get booed. One of the things I wanted to change from Warren's is I wanted to make my character way more sympathetic and, you know, Warren's guy is a like really good quarterback. My guy sucks. He's horrible. He puts the "oser" in loser.

TUSH: What about in your career? Do you remember back in days -- did you have days when you just got up there and just died?

ROCK: Oh, yes, I died all the time. If they paid me for jokes that didn't work, I'd have more money than Donald Trump.

TUSH: So this really, I mean, brought back some memories for you?

ROCK: I mean, not that bad, but yes, I mean, brought back memories of just being a comic. Not that I'm not a comic now, but just struggling, and when my life was real simple. I just wanted some jokes that worked and a girl.

TUSH: That's what Lance wants.

ROCK: That's all Lance wants.

TUSH: But he unfortunately gets stuck in the body of this 60- year-old white guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "DOWN TO EARTH")

(SNOOP DOGGY DOGG, "GIN AND JUICE")

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUSH: Who played that guy?

ROCK: What is his name? I think his name was Brian something. I forget last name. I mean, we didn't use him that much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYDNEY: And that's about it. Let's now go back to the very down-to-earth Natalie and Lou.

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