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Stiller and Rock: It's nice not to bathe for work

  • Story Highlights
  • "Madagascar" stars return for "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa"
  • Chris Rock: "Any job where you don't have to bathe is" good
  • Ben Stiller: It's nice to be in something your kids can enjoy
  • Stiller, Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith do characters' voices
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From KJ Matthews
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- If you're a collection of animals trying to travel the many thousands of miles from the island of Madagascar to the island of Manhattan, it's fastest to fly -- but then you risk crashing on the continent of Africa, as happens in "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa."

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer return for "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa."

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer return for "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa."

But if you're a collection of Hollywood stars voicing the characters in the movie -- including Ben Stiller (Alex the lion), Chris Rock (Marty the zebra), David Schwimmer (Melman the giraffe) and Jada Pinkett Smith (Gloria the hippo) -- it's a matter of rolling out of bed, getting to a recording studio and letting your voice do the work.

"Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," the sequel to the 2005 film "Madagascar," includes Alex finding his family, Marty finding other zebras, challenges to Melman's relationship with Gloria, and those devilish penguins getting in yet more trouble. It opens Friday.

CNN spoke with Stiller, Rock, Schwimmer and Pinkett Smith about their hygiene, enjoying the film with children and how to get on the D-list. The following is an edited version of those interviews.

CNN: I love seeing you guys together. [But] I always think when I see you in these animated flicks, this is like home for you guys.

Ben Stiller: Really? Well that's good.

Chris Rock: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you much. Video Watch the cast act like animals »

David Schwimmer: As an actor, it's a pretty cushy job in that you don't have to worry about how you look when you go into work. There's no makeup or hair or wardrobe. You just show up and just put everything into ... your imagination and your voice. It's challenging but it's really fun.

Stiller: You know, any job you don't have to shave to go into is nice.

Rock: Any job where you don't have to bathe is also good.

CNN: Well, other people are in the studio, you have to bathe.

Stiller: You're partitioned off, you know.

Rock: I'm supposed to smell like an animal, right?

CNN: What about you, [Jada]? Isn't it great when we don't have to get our hair all done up? Just go in.

Jada Pinkett Smith: Yes. I was telling my makeup artist -- my face is sore from all the brushing and yes, all the tapping [to look glamorous for premieres]. ... I love that there's no makeup and no hair [to make an animated film].

CNN: What are your kids saying about this? I know you're a super cool dad for this.

Rock: My kids are, you know, it doesn't take much to impress your kids. You know, just being there, it's like "Hey, he came back." Seems to be enough. "Wow, he's home. Get out of here."

CNN: The expectation is low?

Rock: Yeah. But my kids loved the movie. Most kids kind of loved the original.

Stiller: Yeah, yeah. Its nice to be in something your kids can enjoy and be a part of, you know.

Pinkett Smith: My kids, you know, they don't give major props just because.

CNN: Oh, you got to earn it.

Pinkett Smith: Yeah, I got to earn it big time.

CNN: There are some really top-notch people [in the film]. ... Usually you don't have a great cast like that signing on all together. I think they're all A-listers, is what we call it. No D-listers in this one.

Stiller: They just made a rule: No D-listers. They said you know, only [A-listers].

Rock: Is there really a D-list?

Stiller: I don't know, is there?

CNN: Oh yes. You're not on it, Chris, of course. You and Ben are definitely not on the D-list.

Rock: The D-list. Whoa, God dog it.

Stiller: I want it to be OK to be on the D-list. Because someday, eventually, someday, everybody's going to be on the D-list.

CNN: You do a reality show, you're on the D-list.


Stiller: Oh, there you go. That's not going to happen with me. Reality, you're going to do a reality show?

Rock: I'm going to do a reality show where there's just [going to] be doing junkets.

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