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Grizz Chapman‘s character on 30 Rock is a study in confounding expectations: a mountain of a man who works as a body guard/assistant to Tracy Morgan‘s erratic nut of a comedian, he is thoughtful, smart and sensitive. Surprising? Perhaps at first, but Chapman hopes it’s just the beginning of a career spent upending pre-conceived notions.
With 30 Rock in its final season, the actor is plotting out his next moves, though it’s not always easy dealing with casting directors.
“I mean, why can’t a seven foot guy play a doctor?” he asked The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday. “Why can’t I be a teacher? Why can’t I be a football coach. Why can’t I be a cab driver? Anything. Anything else than that. I can cry. I can do those things that they think the big guys can’t do. So just give us a chance.”
Sometimes, he said, it’s not even about talent, but a studio’s bottom line.
“I get a lot of the time, ‘We don’t know how to market you or you’re too big.’ Or, ‘We have one of you already,’” he said, rolling his eyes. “But you don’t have one of me already; you don’t have a seven foot, lovable guy. You don’t have that.”
So, he’s taking things into his own hands. He just finished a movie with Method Man called Lucky Numberz, stars in the web series The Grizz Chroniclez, and, with members of his improv class, has even more up his (extra long) sleeves.
“We actually pitched a show to a network; I can’t really talk about it right now, but all of that is to say, you never know where the writing will come from,” he explained. “And we were in a position where you would think, these kids from an improv class couldn’t do it, but they did it. And, they were responsible for pitching the show, it wasn’t even me. They did it behind my back.”
Still, he continues on his hunt — and is willing to make a big change, if needed.
“Well, my agent knows what I’m looking for. And I’m also looking for a new agent, too, so I’m putting it out there,” Chapman offered. “Again, I’m not going to turn down every role, because there is no bad role, really, it’s all what you bring to the role, but that traditional, ‘stand here and open a rope,’ I’m not doing it.”
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