We don’t tend to think about the rich and famous being starstruck by fellow celebrities, but that’s exactly what happened to Chris Rock on the set of his latest film, Spiral: From the Book of Saw. In the horror flick, which is the ninth iteration of the Saw franchise, Rock plays Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks and he’s got quite the actor for a father: Samuel L. Jackson.
“The thing about Sam is I’m a fan more than anything,” Rock tells ESSENCE about working with the veteran actor for the first time. “Sam is like 20 years older than me. I guess, technically, we’re peers, but I look at him like the Mount Rushmore of actors. He’s one of the greatest actors that ever lived. I had so much respect for him it probably took me two days just to loosen up around him where I could be fun and tell jokes and stuff.”
In the movie, Jackson stars as Marcus Banks, a former police Chief, and, per usual, steals every scene he’s in. For Rock, whose turn in the movie marks his first go at the horror genre, it was “great” just to witness Jackson’s expertise.
“I was just having a fun time watching him work,” he says. “It was like, this man knows what he’s doing.”
Check out our full interview with Chris Rock in the video above. Spiral is now playing in theaters.