Chris Rock in Spiral

The horror genre has been in a renaissance over the past few years, to the delight of moviegoers. And while filmmakers like Jordan Peele and Ari Aster brought chilling original concepts to theaters, classic franchises have also returned. This includes the Saw franchise, which has been given new life thanks to the mysterious spinoff Spiral: From the Book of Saw starring Chris Rock. And it turns out that the actor-producer couldn’t help but crack up the room while filming dramatic scenes in Spiral.

Chris Rock has had a long and successful career, going from a stand-up comedian to a full fledged actor, producer, and director. His involvement in Spiral turned a ton of heads, especially once Samuel L. Jackson joined the cast. Director Darren Lynn Bousman revealed how Chris Rock kept things light on the ultra serious horror flick, saying:

There’s a scene where Chris has this dramatic encounter in the police station right after he finds out his partner died, and no one’s taking it seriously, and he wants the case. He comes in and he’s screaming and going off and gets really emotional. We do it in one extremely long take—it’s silent at the very end, and he’s got tears coming down his cheek. And everyone on the set claps and they’re like, ‘Oh my God.’ And he looks directly at the camera and goes, ‘Lest no one forget: I was in Pootie Tang. So what I’m saying is, I have range.'

What a gem. While Chris Rock isn’t expected to bring the chuckles throughout Spiral’s 93-minute runtime, he’s an inherently hilarious person. So of course he cracked jokes while on set, despite working on some heavy and emotionally draining material.

Darren Lynn Bousman’s comments to Esquire offer a glimpse into what it was like working on Spiral: From the Book of Saw. This marks Bousman’s whopping fourth installment in the franchise, although it’s seemingly following an entirely different story. Luckily the wait is over, as Spiral officially arrived in theaters this weekend, and fans see all the bloody action.

The Saw franchise holds a unique place in horror history. Spiral is the ninth movie, and is the first time the story shifted away from Jigsaw and his apprentices. Chris Rock is serving as both producer and star, and the horror movie came together largely because of his interest in the genre. We’ll just have to see how it manages to perform at the box office during this unique time.

The pressure is also on for Spiral: From the Book of Saw to deliver for the hardcore fandom. The new movie marks the first installment in the bloody property without Tobin Bell’s John Kramer/Jigsaw, who has always been featured in at least one brief scene. Instead Spiral centers around a copycat killer, allowing for more horrifying traps.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw is in theaters now. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

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