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‘Top Five’ Premiere: 25 Reasons to See the Chris Rock Comedy

Top Five,” the comedy directed by and starring Chris Rock about a day in the life of an actor, premiered in Manhattan’s Ziegfeld Theater on Wednesday night, with a red carpet that included Kanye West, Jerry Seinfeld and Pauly Shore.

Rock told Variety he was surprised that his film, which first screened at the Toronto Film Festival in September, sparked an intense bidding war, with Paramount landing the project for a whopping $12.5 million.

“I was a little shocked,” said Rock, who wants to direct another movie soon. “Films don’t usually sell for that much at a film festival.”

Later, when he took the stage to introduce “Top Five,” he thanked Paramount and took a comedic jab at a rival studio. “If Fox Searchlight had bought it, we’d be at a supermarket right now.”

In honor of the movie’s title (a reference to the characters listing their favorite hip-hop acts), Variety asked the cast to offer their top five reasons to see “Top Five.”

Chris Rock
5. Gabrielle Union is in it.
4. Tracy Morgan.
3. The music.
2. Lots of talent.
1. One more? It’s really funny.

Rosario Dawson
5. Questlove did the soundtrack, which is bananas and outrageous.
4. You’ll never think about hot sauce the same way, and you’ll still want to carry it around with you because it’s a good idea.
3. You’ll see Jerry Seinfeld in a strip club.
2. Chris Rock does a great job acting it it.
1. Chris Rock directed it and wrote it. I’ve known him for a lot of years and he’s translated what we love about him doing his standup to the screen. This is him making his mark like Woody Allen and Mel Brooks did as comedians turned directors.

Gabrielle Union
5. It’s funny.
4. It’s touching.
3. You’ll laugh.
4. You’ll cry.
1. It’s better than “Cats.”

J.B. Smoove
5. It’s funny.
4. Inspiring.
3. Motivating.
2. Hilarious. I said it’s funny, damn it. Well, hilarious is a step above funny.
1. And what’s a word for Chris that describes him? Journeys. I believe this man is on a major journey right now.

Ben Vereen
5. Me.
4. Me.
3. Me.
2. Me.
1. And did I mention me?

The afterparty, at Terminal 5, went past midnight, with Questlove performing and the cast on the dance floor.

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