Chris Rock and Javier Bardem Face Off in Tense Trailer for Look at Me

·3 min read

The first trailer for Look at Me has arrived.

In the short film, which will premiere out-of-competition at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, Chris Rock, 57, plays a gala organizer and costar Javier Bardem, 53, is the drummer for the event.

Alongside Rock and Bardem, the short also stars tap dancer Savion Glover.

In the trailer, tensions rise between the characters as they prepare for the gala in the day of the event. "What the f--- man? What the f--- are you doing to me?" Bardem's character asks Rock's. He responds, "I'm giving you an opportunity, that's what I'm doing, a paid opportunity."

"So I have to be grateful for this?" Bardem questions. "The gala is tonight, I don't have time for discussion," Rock says in return. "Are you gonna do as I ask or not?"

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Look at Me is a 16-minute short film directed by award-winning director Sally Potter. According to Deadline, who first reported on the trailer, the story was originally supposed to be one of the short stories in The Roads Not Taken, a 2020 feature by the director where Bardem stars as a writer in the early stages of dementia.

But, when they recorded the scenes back in 2019, Potter changed directions. "When I got into the cutting room, I saw how dynamic these titans of the entertainment world are together, their volatile, fiery on-screen relationship offset by the rhythms of the brilliant tap-dancer Savion Glover," Potter told the outlet.

"The destiny of the story was clear: it had nothing to do with the other project," she said. "It had to become a short film, a fast-moving portrait of conflict and love. The result is Look at Me."

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Tensions Rise in New Trailer for Short Film Look at Me Starring Chris Rock and Javier Bardem
Tensions Rise in New Trailer for Short Film Look at Me Starring Chris Rock and Javier Bardem

Sally Potter/Instagram

On Instagram, the director praised both actors for their work ahead of the trailer release. "When working with @chrisrock, whose edgy brilliance as a comedian has made me laugh and laugh – I saw another side of him: a thoughtful, quiet, open and respectful man, whose performance moved me to tears," she wrote.

"I came to know Javier (@bardemantarctic) well during our preparations: he goes deep into the work, with a quite ferocious intensity – practicing his drumming hour upon hour, for example; every detail of the script and his character is scrutinized and reworked as he demands more and more of himself," Potter captioned a post about Bardem.

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Rock has been in the news this year after Will Smith infamously slapped him during the 2022 Academy Awards.

Most recently, the comedian revealed he declined an invitation to host the 2023 Oscars and compared it to returning to the scene of a crime, according to the Arizona Republic.

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While discussing the hosting offer, the comedian made a reference to the 1995 murder trial of O.J. Simpson, noting it would be like asking the late Nicole Brown Simpson "to go back to the restaurant" where her mother had left a pair of glasses the night of her death.

Rock said that Smith's slap itself hurt referencing the actor's turn as Muhammed Ali in the 2001 movie Ali, and explaining, "He's bigger than me. The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith."

The comedian  — who previously hosted the Oscars in 2005 and 2016  — added that he also turned down the opportunity to appear in a Super Bowl ad following the slapping incident.