A Conversation With 30 Rock’s Grizz Chapman

Grizz Chapman

SoJones recently spoke with Grizz Chapman, best known for his role as a member of Tracy Jordan’s entourage on the NBC series 30 Rock. We chatted about his feelings as 30 Rock comes to an end, his current movie and film plans, as well as who is on his Naughty and Nice list this Holiday season.

SoJones: There a handful of episodes to go before the one hour series finale of 30 Rock (Thursday Nights at 8 ET on NBC). Are you excited to move on after seven years?

Grizz Chapman: I have mixed emotions. I’m a little excited; excited to see what the future brings. After seven years, it’s kind of time. I’d rather us go out on top than hear people say, “I can’t wait for that show to be off the air.” We don’t want to give you five bad years.

SJ: You have three movies coming out soon – Home, Hypebeasts, and Lucky Numberz. Is there anything you can tell us about these releases?

GC: They are all pretty good in their own right. Home is about a guy who has schizophrenia – he’s just not right with the world – and he branches out trying to help himself. He comes in contact with a whole host of problems that make his world difficult as he tries to get back on top of things.

Lucky Numberz  is about a basketball player who lives a crazy, mixed up life of sex drugs and money.

Hypebeasts is a little more political. It’s going to be really good. The young lady, Jessica dela Merced, who wrote and directed it is one of Spike Lee’s protégés, and I think that one will get more attention than all of them.

SJ: Are their anymore episodes of Grizz Chroniclez (Chapman’s webseries) on the way?

GC: We are actually working on The Night Before Grizzmas right now.

SJ: Do you have a Grizzmas for 2012? Anybody you would put on your naughty or nice list?

GC: Hmm…who would I put on my naughty list this year? (Muwahaha) There’s so many. Probably at the top of my naughty list would be FEMA. The energy company LIPA (Long Island Power Authority), I would definitely put those two on the top of my naughty list.

SJ: Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy?

GC: I was blessed. I wasn’t affected at all. But seeing all the aftermath hurts so much. You think, “Ok, I’ll just give money to Red Cross, and that will be it.” But there is a lot that has to be done to get back on top other than give to Red Cross. Unfortunately, our dollars won’t do enough.

I’ve been in Rockaway the past couple of weeks, and seeing all the damage, and the people. Everybody just seems so…sad. The distress and the pain. We did an event last week. The food bank shipped in a lot of elderly people and single mothers, a lot of single people, and we got a chance to feed them for the day. That felt pretty good, but that’s not enough.

SJ: Would you like to move out of the “Big Man” role you play on 30 Rock?

GC: I do, but I don’t. As long as they make better roles for us. It seems like the big guy is put into a category you can’t break out of. You’ve always gotta be violent or the big, brainless type of guy. I would love to do some other things. I don’t even mind being the big lovable guy – that’s kinda cool. I just want to spread my wings a little bit.

SJ: Do you have any television plans lined up?

GC: I just pitched a show to a network, but I really can’t talk about the actual network or give a lot of details. Hopefully that will get picked up. Tiny (Fey) is going back into production soon with three new shows for NBC. And I hope I’m called up.

SJ: She tends to have a stable of people she likes to work with, and once you’re in that stable, you’re good.

GC: And I hope I’m one of those people that are called out of the stable. Definitely hope I am one of those people.

SJ: Is there a certain type of role that you haven’t played yet that you would like to play?

GC: I have two roles. I would love to play a superhero.  My favorite superhero would be a mix between Spider-man and Batman. I would love to play a bad guy. Like a super bad guy too. Not the bad guy that gets killed in the first 45 minutes of the film. I want to be the arch enemy of the good guy.

SJ: Like the Lex Luthor – the cerebral mastermind. Sorry, I’m a comic nerd.

GC: You need to check out my store.

SJ: Serious? What’s the name?

GC: It’s called The Lair. 1808 Colden Avenue (in NYC). We have anything and everything  a comic book person could need.  I love it. It was one of the best things I did. The store was already there, and I went in with my friend George.  We do New York Comic Con every year. But I haven’t been caught up with my comics lately, I’ve been catching up with my tv shows – watching Revolution, Shameless, Breaking Bad, True Blood, and Chicago Fire. Trying to catch up with that stuff.

The final episodes of 30 Rock will air Thursday Nights at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT on NBC. You can follow Grizz Chapman on Twitter @Grizz30rock.

Image from Kristin Dos Santos/Flickr under CC. 

Keith Veronese

Keith Veronese

Keith Veronese has a Ph.D. in chemistry and regularly writes for Gawker Media's science site, io9. His worked has appeared on the Gawker Media sites Lifehacker, Deadspin, Kotaku, and Jezebel in addition to Paste Magazine, AMOG, So Jones, Hip Hop Press, and FormatMag. Keith also has a non-fiction book in the works, Plugged In: Comic Book Professionals Working in the Video Game Industry, which will be released by TwoMorrows Publishing later this year.
Keith Veronese