A Few Words From Chris Rock Before He Fell Silent

When the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag broke just two months ago, 88th Annual Academy Awards host Chris Rock fell silent, cancelling all press tours and remarking with one single tweet. The Hollywood Reporter, however, was able to meet with Rock and talk about his big day before the diversity controversy ensued.

Related: EXCLUSIVE: Chris Rock Not Dropping Out Of Oscars, Rewriting Monologue To Address #OscarsSoWhite Outrage

In mid-December the magazine listened in on the Oscar host as he practiced some comedic riffs for crew members on the Hollywood soundstage. Some of the lines included: “I’m hosting the Oscars — someone at ABC is going to get fired for this”; and “The Oscars: where blood, sweat and nepotism finally pay off.”;

Though Rock was still in the midst of perfecting his monologue, he did note that he plans to poke fun at pay inequality and the superhero gut. And we’re certain that he will make reference to diversity on Sunday night.

When it comes to why Rock was so keen to originally host the Oscars, he says, “I told my agent I wanted to present because it’s like, what’s easier and better than presenting? You come in, do something really funny and get out of there.”; He continues, “But it just seemed like a good time. I hadn’t [hosted] in a while, and I’m in between projects.”;

Related: Chris Rock’s Rep Shuts Down Rumours He’s Rewriting Oscar Monologue

He also admires what Ellen DeGeneres did with the show: “And let’s not get it twisted: I’m only here because Ellen said no.”;

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