Chris Tucker reveals why he never made another ‘Friday’ film
I didn’t do the second one in the franchise "because of the weed,” said Tucker, referring to his role as Smokey, the lovable, weed-smoking screw-up.
In a group interview with Flix Talk, a film and culture podcast, actor-comedian Chris Tucker at long last revealed why he didn’t continue to be featured in the Friday franchise that made him a star.
“Back then, I gotta tell you, one of the reasons why I didn’t do the second one is because of the weed,” Tucker said in a recent conversation reposted by The Shade Room.
“Because I said, ‘Man, that movie became a phenomenon. I don’t want everybody smokin’ weed.’ I never really told people this because I kinda forgot about it but it was one of the reasons why I didn’t do it. Because I said, ‘I don’t want to represent everyone smokin’ weed.’ I kinda made it more personal than a movie and that’s one of the reasons I said, ‘Nah, I don’t want to keep doing that character.’”
Tucker added that his decision “probably was good for me because it kept me moving to the next phase… the next movies.”
Friday, released in 1995, was written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, and directed by F. Gary Gray. It was one of Tucker’s earliest film roles and propelled him to superstar status, playing Smokey, a lovable, weed-smoking screw-up. The comedy made more than $20 million in domestic box office sales and has become a Black film classic.
In an appearance on the Club Shay Shay podcast hosted by Shannon Sharpe, Tucker revealed in January that Friday had a $3 million budget, and he was paid about $10,000. Its small budget and simplicity gave it appeal, he said.
“It was that small of a movie, but that was the beauty of it,” he claimed. “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.”
Friday went on to become a trilogy, with a long-rumored, possible fourth and final film in development. Tucker went on to star in three iterations of the hugely successful Rush Hour franchise co-starring Jackie Chan.
This article features additional reporting from theGrio’s Blue Telusma.