Madagascar 2 stars Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and David Schwimmer take SheKnows inside the jungle

Nov 7, 2008 at 3:10 a.m. ET

The zany gang from Madagascar 2 is back and in a stripped-down, unplugged and unedited interview with three of its stars - Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and David Schwimmer - SheKnows gets the inside scoop about the return to the jungle.

Ben channels his inner lion

Ben Stiller:

"I think that's what people loved about the first one was the characters and their friendships," Stiller says. "Even the little guys like the penguins and even Mort – those little characters that everybody has their own favorites. Kids would connect with different characters."

"First one the characters had to figure out how to get home. Get to Africa feel connected to who they are, it was a different sort of feeling," Stiller adds. 

"David Schwimmer is so funny as Melman. He's just amazing in that character. He always makes me laugh. And Jada as Gloria does great stuff with her new suitor in this film. This whole subplot with her and Melman are one of the strongest things about this movie."

"He can't believe he has this mom and dad. He really missed out on his connection with having a family. To connect with these parents and to see, the memories of his childhood, where he slept, to connect him with something he had not been in touch with all these years, it sort of gets him back in touch with his inner lion," Stiller says of his lion's return home.

This doesn't look good!

"The late Bernie Mac, he was an amazing presence. Obviously, he's a really funny guy. I felt such a connection with him, it's so sad. I felt such a connection with him, it's so sad 'cause I wouldn't work with him in the studio, but I'd hear his dialogue – I just love him in this character. I felt such a connection to him as a dad in this movie. There's a warmth to him and he's really funny too," Stiller says of the stellar cast. "Alec Baldwin he's one of a kind. He's got such a great voice and a great sense of humor. He can play this serious nature, but still gets the comic side of it all."

Chris Rock discusses Madagascar

Chris Rock:

"People loved the first Madagascar. My kids, it's probably the only thing that they brag about to their friends. 'My daddy's a zebra. My daddy is a zebra!' It's a good thing. It's the gift that keeps giving," Rock says of the reaction to Madagascar.

"I'm elated, I can't wait to the third and the fourth and fifth. I thought the movie warranted a sequel. I thought people really love these characters and really want to see what happens to them. Talking animals, you can't really do bad with talking animals."

"Marty gets to Africa and he's like the adopted kid who gets to be around his own people for the first time," Rock says and laughs. "There's a little bad, there's a little good. At first he acts up, but then, he realizes he has two families."

"There is a shock in seeing 1,000 animals that look like you. At first he fits in. But, after a while he's kind of because he's not as special as he used to be. It's kind of like when I'm around Chris Tucker and Dave Chappelle. At first I'm really happy, but then I'm like, 'people aren't paying attention to me,' Rock says and laughs.

going for a ride with the cast of Madagascar 2

David Schwimmer:

"Melman's in some pretty dangerous, life threatening, situations in Madagascar 2," Schwimmer says of his always ailing giraffe.

"Then, the locals tell him that he's acquired this disease. He's completely sure he's going to die. Some pretty dramatic things happen to Melman in this one in terms of he thinks he's going to die. He tries to sacrifice himself to save Gloria and everyone. He confesses his love to Gloria. There's a big love story in it for him as well. He's conquers a few of his own fears. It's a big event-filled movie for Melman. In this film Melman has an arch rival named Moto-Moto (Will.I.Am). It's a big sexy male hippo that is vying for Gloria's affections. He's threatening because he's a hippo and I'm a giraffe. She's a hippo so you think she'll probably go with him. But…Melman overcomes a few obstacles."

"Each of the actors improvises a lot," Schwimmer says of his comedic co-stars. "So, I've read the script, but I have no idea. Half the material comes from the moment – improvisation. When you have actors like Chris and Ben and Sasha Baron Cohen riffing through things, I'm can't wait to see what will end up on screen."

These guys steal the show once more

"Everyone gets to really play and have fun. It's freeing when it's not your face up there. You lost a kind of self-conscious in a way. You just go for it. Each of the people in this movie knocks it out of the park."

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