Actress and comedian Kym Whitley has been around since the early 90s making us laugh in shows from “My Brother and Me”, “Sparks”, & “The Parkers”. Her resume is extensive, having also appeared in movies like “Deliver Us From Eva” and “Fun With Dick and Jane”. The actress had an interview with Comedy Hype where she touched on a plethora of topics, including why she never reprised her famous role as “Auntie Suga” in the “Friday” Franchise.
Ice Cube wrote and starred in F. Gary Gray’s directorial debut “Friday” in 1995 as “Craig” who, alongside his best friend Smokey (played by Chris Tucker) go through a series of events in order to pay Deebo, a drug dealer, by Friday night. The film was a critical and commercial success, amassing a large cult following for years to come. Culturally it brought the phrase “Bye Felicia” that’s been made into made an Internet meme.
The success of the film pushed Ice Cube to write the sequels “Next Friday” (released in 2000) and “Friday After Next” (released in 2002), both also achieving a cult following like the first film. It was in the franchise’s second installment that we were introduced to Whitley’s character “Auntie Suga”. However, to the surprise of fans, she wouldn’t return for the next film’s installment. For years many wondered the reasoning and now, the actress is breaking her silence.
“I did Next Friday and I was Auntie Suga and then Friday After Next came around and Cube was writing it but he didn’t tell me he was writing it,” the Boondocks actress began. “And this was at the beginning of my career. And then the movie Deliver Us From Eva came around and I got to play Ormandy. And I was like, ‘Oh good, I’ll take it.’ I signed the contract. Then Cube said, ‘Kym, we gon be doing Friday After Next…’ Hold up, now when you was writing that you could have called me. But you ain’t believe everybody was gon be working or doing something.”
She continued to say that she is stronger now, and says what she would have done differently. “I would have been like, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ Or I would have quit one. I would have been like, ‘Forget y’all.’” She then goes on to speak on what made the relationship sour between her and Cube. “I didn’t have a strong management team, none of that,” she explained. “They scared. And Cube said, ‘This is the shooting schedule.’ There were two days that overlapped each other for the movie. And he pretty much told Gary Hardwick, she’s got to do this or I’m taking her off the movie.
“And I didn’t have no number to Ice Cube,” she added. “I would have been like, ‘No, please don’t, this is my part.’ I should have been like, ‘C’mon y’all. Y’all do stuff. Why can’t I do two movies at once? Are we serious?’ It was bad. The director for Friday After Next was mad at me. They brought in Sommore to take over my part. It was a bad time. I was happy for her but I was sad for me because it was a franchise. And Ice Cube didn’t speak to me for a very, very long time.”
Whitley then spoke on what she wishes she did differently. “When you look at Hollywood and you’re like, ‘I’m young. Help me.’ That was the time, I should have called like Jenifer Lewis,” she admits. “You call somebody else in the game. That’s why you need mentors, people who came before you and say, ‘Hey, what do I do.’”
She confessed it took a long time for Cube to forgive her, and that she would go to his concerts in hopes they would make amends. After some time, the two would work together on a future film, and be able to let bygones be bygones. “How did we get past that? I guess me,” she says. “I kept saying I’m sorry and please I don’t know what else to do. Then Ice Cube got older and he was like, ‘I don’t know why I’m trippin.’ Then, there was a movie called Fist Fight and it was with Ice Cube and I was up for a part. We agreed it was mine. I talked to him on the set of Fist Fight, and he was like, ‘Huh? What are you talking about?’ I said, ‘I just want to make sure we’re cool.’ We laughed together and had good times. So we got past that.”