He said he held a grudge against Rock for years.
His latest film The Intruder hit theaters last week, so Michael Ealy and his co-stars Meagan Good and Dennis Quaid have been making their necessary media rounds to promote the film. In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, the actor was asked to share one of his worst moments he's had while working in the industry, and surprisingly it involved a moment with funnyman Chris Rock. He called the comedian "a little cold" and said that he was initially excited as a new actor to be paired with Rock, Anthony Hopkins, and Kerry Washington, but it wasn't what he expected.
“I was doing this movie with Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock called ‘Bad Company’ (from 2002)," he said. "I was still waiting tables at the time but I had just done a ‘Law & Order’ episode, which basically certifies you as a New York actor. I was so excited to audition for this movie and I didn’t get the part but (director) Joel Schumacher saw something in me and he wrote a part for me."
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“It wasn’t much, it was a bit part, but I was very grateful," he continued. "The movie was shooting in New York and Chris Rock played a street hustler — like, he’s that guy who’s doing three-card monte in the park — and I played one of his best friends. I’m a young actor and I’m thrilled because this is my first movie. And it’s a big budget movie. And I’m going to do a scene with Anthony Hopkins! Kerry Washington was just starting out too and she played Chris’ love interest. I guess Kerry and I were the local hires."
“We had to do some reshoots for the end of the movie so they asked me to come back a couple months later — I’m still waiting tables, so I take a day off from that — and we’re doing this wedding scene between Chris and Kerry and I’m the best man.
“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 Joel is telling me where to stand. And right before he says action, Chris looks over at me and he says: ‘Oh (pause). Still in the business, huh?’
“And when he said that, it was like a Mike Tyson left hook. And I knew he wasn’t joking around. I think maybe he was trying to disguise it as playful teasing, but it was a dig. For whatever reason, it was a dig: ‘You still in the business, huh?’
Washington heard the remark and saw the look on Ealy's face, so she apparently checked Rock for being rude. Ealy said that he carried a grudge against Rock for years. They ran into each other in the bathroom at the 2005 Golden Globes, and it was then that the rift was over. "And you know what he said? ‘I love your work and I apologize for what I said.’ He somehow remembered what he said to me and that it was wrong — and he owned up to it and apologized and told me he loved my work and he was a fan."