Chris Rock isn’t laughing.
After years of cracking audiences up with his comedy and movies, the Saturday Night Live veteran is getting serious with his starring role in the long-awaited fourth installment of FX’s Fargo, creator Noah Hawley‘s hit anthology adaptation of the Coen brothers’ classic film.
Premiering on Sunday, Sept. 27, after a pandemic-induced delay—there were just two episodes left to film before COVID shut down the industry back in March—the new season, set in 1950s Kansas City, finds Rock playing mob boss Loy Cannon. Not only is it the first meaty dramatic role in his career, but it also marks the first-ever time he’s starred in a scripted series ever. Talk about a learning curve.
As he told The Hollywood Reporter, the job required more from him than he’d initially expected, forcing him to set aside plans to work on new stand-up material until filming was finished. “Doing a movie is like playing a game — doing a series is like playing a season,” he told the publication. “Even Michael Jordan, at 50-something, could probably kick some ass if you had him play one game right now. But a season? He’s not retired because he can’t play basketball, he’s retired because he can’t play a season.”