Actor Michael Ealy Once Wanted To Punch Chris Rock In The Face
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Actor Michael Ealy Once Wanted To Punch Chris Rock In The Face

Michael Ealy. (screenshot) Image Credit: YouTube

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock will continue to reverberate throughout cinematic history. Though he is the only actor who expressed his frustration at the comedian’s constant jabbing of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, he is not alone. Actor Michael Ealy also fantasized about punching Rock in the face.

Ealy recalls when the comic hurled a cruel dig at him as an up-and-coming actor, according to a 2019 interview with the Chicago Tribune. 

The handsome blue-eyed actor was asked about the worst moment in his career, and he spoke about the time he was on set for the 2002 film Bad Company starring Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock.

Director Joel Schumacher decided to write a small part for him to play. 

“Chris Rock was a little cold. He was probably at the height of his career at this point, and I idolized him — I had watched all his stuff and thought he was so funny, and I really respected him — but he was just kind of indifferent to me,” says the “Barbershop” actor, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

He continues with his story of having to participate in reshoots for the movie’s ending for the wedding scene between Rock and Washington.

“So we’re about to shoot this scene, I’m in my tux, I come on set, and Chris and Kerry are standing there, and…Chris looks over at me, and he says: ‘Oh (pause). Still in the business, huh?”

Ealy took Rock’s comment personally because Rock’s jab insinuated that he is surprised he is lasting in the industry. Washington came to his defense and rebuked her co-star’s rudeness. 

“And mind you, we didn’t speak much on set in the first place. For whatever reason he didn’t talk to me much. He was a big star and I had a small part, and maybe he didn’t think I was going to be around much, so he didn’t think it was important to be nice to me.

“I just stayed professional and did my best, but I was stuck there having to look like I’m happy to be at my friend’s wedding when really at this point, I wanted to punch him in the f—— face. The crying came later. In the moment, I wanted to punch him in the face. That was my Maryland upbringing coming into play (laughs) where you just fight,” he reveals. 

As Ealy moved forward in his career and eventually garnered a Golden Globe nomination for his 2005 Showtime drama “Sleeper Cell.” He remembers running into the Rock at the Golden Globes ceremony. 

“And you know what he said? ‘I love your work, and I apologize for what I said.’

“I forgive easy, but can you imagine if he hadn’t remembered that we had worked together on a movie before? That would have been the second punch, right?” he humorously discloses. 

Ealy held a grudge against Rock until they met up at the Globes and buried the hatchet. 

“But it also taught me early on how to treat people. I really learned that working with Will Smith and Halle Berry — when I worked with them, they both knew everybody’s name on the crew and they spoke to every actor, whether they were background or guest star.”

Ealy upholds the attitude that being cordial in this business is essential. He is grateful for his experience with Rock because it taught him how to cope in a high-pressure Hollywood environment.