Tracy Morgan, Bruce Willis speak up on Kevin Smith's 'Cop Out'
What does the '30 Rock' actor say of the 'Jaws' 3-D remake rumors?
At a film junket in New York, there’s Willis -- one of the most famous faces of police action flicks -- sitting next to Tracy Morgan, a comedian with the presence of a human non-sequitur. As the two discussed the Kevin Smith-directed buddy-cop comedy, Willis would wait to answer his questions, speaking quietly as Morgan played sideshow, raising his eyebrows back at his handlers or giving the “these eyes are looking at you” double-finger gesture to the handful of journos in the room.
Morgan, like his character detective Paul Hodges in the film, looked to Willis (detective Jimmy Monroe) as his anchor, the one who talked sense, as they worked through the process of creating chemistry on camera.
“When I’m around [Willis], I’m always learning on how to do this stuff. I haven’t done this stuff a lot, but when we were shooting we never worried about that. We just went towards the funny,” Morgan said, tapping his co-star on the chest. “So we never got into worrying about stuff like [the] buddy-cop [genre] or who we’re going to be compared to. We transcended all that and just wanted to make you guys laugh.”
“Exactly right. I don’t think we ever discussed any other genre film that came close to ours—ever,” Willis agreed.
“I think we just jumped in headfirst.”
“We just hit the ground running.”
“He was on like popcorn.”
It’s difficult now to imagine the movie through a lens of who would have been the original leads -- Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg – with speedy and random dialogue and moments of raw improv.
“We had timing… to find that timing that allows dialogue to go twice as fast,” Willis says. “We kept a lot of hard-core sh** in the movie. But… there are some things that were too hard to stay in the film. Kevin’s job, more than anything, was to keep us from getting too wild.”
“There were some late nights, man! You get delirious. Woo!” Morgan shouted, his hands flinging imaginary confetti.
“A lot of those scenes you won’t be seeing in the film… [Smith’s] got a great eye. He’s got his own sense of timing and he’s got his own sense of humor—very dark sense of humor,” Willis says.
“Yeah. Like Dr. Frankenstein. He’s alive! He’s alive!” Scratching at the air.
Morgan plans to continue down this path of TV and movie comedy, so directing or producing is going to have to wait. “The whole process--the outcome, the finish, people laughing, people going to the movies with their family, getting Goobers and popcorn and walking out feeling good -- that’s what we shot for. We didn’t shoot for black cop/white cop thing. We never mentioned it because we went straight for the funny.”
The actor also denies involvement in a rumored “Jaws” 3-D remake, though insists that, were it to happen, he’s cast as Captain Sam Quint.