Actors Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Ben Stiller are back to lend their voices in the new animated film, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and have turned it into a family production with Jada and Ben’s kids getting in on the action! For Jada, it was a dream come true — for both mother and daughter — when the role of little Gloria was offered to Jada’s daughter, Willow Camille Reign, after the 7 ½-year-old became fascinated with the behind-the-scenes production of an animated film. Willow was given the chance to “come in, do some lines, and she got to see the process for herself, rather than [Jada] telling her.”
While Willow began to grasp the concept of voice-overs, Ben Stiller’s son Quinlin Dempsey, 3, and his daughter Ella Olivia, 6, were “sort of wary of the situation.” Eventually, Quinlin and Ella both made it to the microphone and had a great time “making sounds,” but after a few minutes little Quinlin understandably became “a little intimidated by the microphone and the whole thing.” Although Ben is the first to admit that he is thrilled that both of his kids are in the movie, he is equally happy that his kids weren’t top-notch performers. Explains Ben,
“I was happy that they weren’t like, sort of, getting up there and going like, all Shirley Temple or something.”
Click ‘More’ to hear how the three actors balance work and family time.
While Jada and Ben’s kids got a small part in the film, the sameisn’t true for most movies, forcing the actors to develop a balancebetween family time and work time. With three very different techniquesand views on parenting, comedian Chris Rock feels that his acting jobisn’t simply to provide for his family now, but also as a means ofincome in the future if something were to happen to him. “So, you know,being a dad, not only are you responsible for your wife and kids, ifyou die and they have to move four years later, you’re a bad father,”shares Chris. Stemming from that take on the situation, Chris admitsthat “there’s no balance for me. I work, work, work. When I’m off work,I spend time with my family.”
As Chris dedicates himself to the job,Ben says that “being together, no matter what, is probably the bestthing” when it comes to juggling his family with his career. With hiswife and kids nearby, Ben knows that “even if the hours are long, youstill get together at night or in the morning.” A mom of three, Jadadoesn’t hesitate to admit that as “women, we put out so much. It’s soimportant that [women] plug in somewhere.” For the 37-year-old actress,even day trips away from her family offer her a means of relaxation. Ondoing the press tour alone, she explains, “I got to sleep in the bedmyself…I got the ride on the plane…That type of time is veryvaluable.” Jada shares that “I’m a much better mother, and a muchbetter wife when I have time to be able to go and just collect myself.”
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa hits theaters November 7th. Chris Rock has daughters Lola Simone, 6, and Zahra Savannah, 4, with wife Malaak Compton-Rock; Ben Stiller has Ella and Quinlan with wife Christine Taylor; Jada Pinkett Smith has stepson Trey, 15, and children Jaden Christopher Syre, 10, and daughter Willow with husband, Will Smith.