New Jack City has officially turned 25 years old. The cult classic told the story of drugs, and crime life in then modern day New York City. Now to highlight the popular film, writer Barry Michael Cooper has spoke on the film in a new interview and went on to reveal that Chris Rock wasn’t the first choice as Pookie. Instead it was Martin Lawrence who after killing his audition was expected to play the recovering drug addict.
Screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper says Lawrence “destroyed” his audition and brought the New Jack City script to life. “Martin Lawrence, he came in and killed that audition. The person taping had to shut the camera off; everybody was on the floor [laughing].” Chris Rock, however? Apparently, his audition was so terrible that Cooper says the actor had several “let me try this again” moments. “You could see the look on his face of ‘Man, I screwed this up.’” Even so, Rock “won” the role after Lawrence’s mentor, Robin Harris, of Bebe’s Kids and House Party fame, suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep in 1990. “Martin, he didn’t take it well,” Cooper recalls. “So he opted out of the movie. He stepped out of the movie, and that’s when they gave the role to Chris Rock.”
Interesting enough Martin ended up paying homage to the film year’s later on his series Martin. Small world.
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