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Spiral's Director Shares The Best On-Set Moments With Chris Rock And Samuel L. Jackson - Exclusive

If you're in a state of shock and disbelief that Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson are the stars of a new "Saw" movie movie, you're not alone. Even director Darren Lynn Bousman was pinching himself when he found out who was going to star in his "Spiral: From the Book of Saw." "When they first called me about ['Spiral'] and said, 'Hey, we've got this script and Chris Rock wants to do it,' My first reaction was, 'Who's Chris Rock?' As in not putting together it was that Chris Rock, because, clearly, the Chris Rock would not do a 'Saw' movie," Bousman told Looper in an exclusive interview. "There was a long silence and they said, 'No, it's that Chris Rock.' So it seemed completely unbelievable. And I really even didn't believe it until I was sitting down, having breakfast with them and he showed up, and I was like, 'Holy s***, it is the Chris Rock.' It was crazy."

While it may be a bit jarring at first to see the funnyman in such a dark and serious role, that doesn't mean the film is devoid of his comedic chops. As Bousman points out, Rock occasionally improvised the dialogue, sometimes injecting hints of unexpected yet welcome humor into bleak scenes. 

"There's a moment in the movie where Chris' character has just found out that he got the Boswick case, and he goes into the police station, and he's like, 'I know some of you hate me.' And then he looks, and he goes, 'Some of you are mad that I f***ed your mother,'" shares Bousman. "That's not what the script said, he just redid the take. He's like, 'I can make this better.' Chris would look at the opening scene, and he'll be like, 'No, no, no, no, no. We have to have a better way to introduce Zeke.' And then, he came back the next day and handed me a 'Forrest Gump' monologue. And I was like, 'Holy s***, this is hilarious.'"

Samuel L. Jackson "is so exact in what he does"

But no actor left director Darren Lynn Bousman in awe on the set of "Spiral" more than Samuel L. Jackson. "Samuel Jackson is, I mean, not only is this guy a legend, he's done 180-some movies, so he is so exact in what he does," Bousman told Looper. "With someone like him, he would usually nail it on the first take. He would come in, and he would just, boom, lay it down. And it was perfect."

"When he walks on set, he's bigger than life," Bousman added. "He's just this f***ing presence. And it was one of those things that, again, I did not believe it to be real until I actually saw him on set. I was like, 'Surely, I'm being with f***ed with. Surely, it's not the Samuel L. Jackson.' No, but I mean, he was exactly who you would expect him to be in all those movies."

As many of his fans know, Jackson has a profane trademark of his own. It's a curse word we never get tired of hearing him say, and "Spiral" just wouldn't be complete without it. "One of the first things we shot with him was his line where he says, 'You want to play games, motherf***er? All right, I'll play.' And he did that scene, and then he looked at the camera and goes, 'There ... you got your one 'motherf***er,' I'm done.' It was pretty funny," Bousman reflected.

"Spiral: From the Book of Saw" is in theaters on Friday, May 14.