Chris Tucker reveals he was only paid $10K for ‘Friday’

The comedy star says he didn't care about the money because he recognized the opportunity

Chris Tucker’s breakout role as Smokey in the classic film Friday is iconic in Black culture. But recently the actor revealed that he was paid just $10K to be in the film.

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Wednesday, during an appearance on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay the actor explained, “It’s one of those things —it was just a small movie. We filmed it in 20 days. I got about $10K for it or whatever, I didn’t care. I wanted the opportunity.”

Ice Cube and Chris Tucker in ‘Friday’ (Warner Bros./New Line Cinema)

Tucker further explains that the film only had a budget of about $3M – extremely low in Hollywood – so he and fellow stars Ice Cube and the late actor John Witherspoon, were only allowed two takes per scene because they literally couldn’t afford any more than that. In fact, Tucker shared that anyone who couldn’t get it right within those takes knew that they ran the risk of having their scene removed altogether.

“It was that small of a movie, but that was the beauty of it,” he continued, recalling that moment in his career fondly. “It allowed me to get into character. It wasn’t no big distractions like big movie sets. You got light people and sound people and everybody wanna be a star. But that movie was just a camera and me and Cube on the porch. Magic came out of it, thank God.”

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To his point, the 1995 film went on to make nearly $28M worldwide and spawned two sequels with Next Friday in 2000 and Friday After Next in 2002.

Tucker’s gamble on the role also paid off as he went on to star in the Rush Hour franchise with Jackie Chan in 1998, making him an international superstar.

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