IF you want to get to know the real Chris Rock, you might want to strike up a conversation about hair.
The comedian spent nearly two years exploring the world of black hair for his documentary Good Hair, which made its debut at Sundance this year.
The film, which Rock co-wrote and produced, takes a provocative look at the relationship African-Americans have with their hair.
Rock, best known for his stand-up comedy and sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, says he’d been mulling a movie about hair for a long time, but having daughters motivated him to finally get the project started.
He tells CNN: “All these guys I know, we have daughters – and our daughters have these hair issues that blew our minds.”
They couldn’t figure out why their daughters wanted straight hair, and when Lola, one of his young daughters, asked him why she didn’t have good hair, it just “ignited something in me”, Rock recalls.
Narrated by Rock, the film explores black hair from a multitude of angles, from the booming US$9 billion industry it generates to the science behind chemical relaxers that straighten hair.
The comedian is known for his no-limits, confrontational style, but he took a more laid-back approach with Good Hair.
“A lot of people were just scared I was going to make fun of them,” he says. But it’s a documentary so “you’ve got to let people talk. You let them do their thing.”
Rock managed to sit down with a variety of black celebrities, including actress Nia Long, poet Maya Angelou and the Rev Al Sharpton, and question them about their hair.
The movie uses Rock’s humour to draw attention to aspects of the black hair world that many members of the black community probably don’t even know about, says executive producer Nelson George. – CNN.