When fans of the Friday film franchise think of the movie, it’s hard not to think of or mention actor and comedian Chris Tucker. His appearance as the “Smokey” in the film lives on as a pivotal character whose presence has been widely missed in the sequels. There have been many speculations over the years as to why Tucker never came back, but he’s now speaking on it from his own mouth.
Chris appeared on the podcast Club Shay Shay with Shannon Sharpe recently and finally gave his reasoning as to why he’s never been seen in the two sequels that followed. “I wanted to move on because when I did something, I never wanted to do it again,” he stated around the 16-minute mark. “Back then, I was all about going to the next level. I had a good sense of like, ‘OK, now it’s time to go do an action movie.’”
Tucker continued, “So when they asked me to do a Friday, I was like, ‘Nah, I wanna go do something else. We done did that…I was thinking about my career, saying, ‘Nah I wanna go do Money Talks or something.’ Let me do my own movie. It was about going to the next level. They couldn’t believe I didn’t want to do another one, but I was right when I think back on it. I was like, ‘It’s time to do something new. We did that.’ I did everything I could do, and I was prepared [to move on]. And I’m satisfied with it.”
Friday became a massive success and a cult classic, making over $27.5 million at the box office against a $3.5 million budget. As previously reported, the late John Witherspoon revealed that due to the film’s small budget, mostly everyone received around $5k for their contributions to the film. Tucker also spoke on his salary for the film, revealing that his paycheck was double the amount of what Witherspoon said everyone else received.
“It’s one of those things—it was just a small movie,” the comedian said. “We filmed it in 20 days. I got about $10,000 for it or whatever, I didn’t care. I wanted the opportunity. It was that small of a movie, but that was the beauty of it. 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.”
Taking the sacrifice in the salary and still bringing his A-game to the film paid off for the actor in the end, as he secured roles in blockbusters such as Jackie Brown, and all three of the Rush Hour films, of which a potential fourth may be on the way. However, as for him appearing in the potential fourth installment of Friday, fans may not want to hold their breath.
“I probably won’t [do the movie] because I never want to shortchange my audience and fans,” said Tucker when asked whether he would consider it. “I know they want it because that’s what they know and love … but I don’t want to come back in something that I probably can’t do what they want me to do because I’ve grown. But not only grown, I’m different.”
Check out the interview below: