Chris Tucker starred in the classic 1995 movie Friday as Smokey and revealed the surprising reason he never reprised his iconic role in the sequels.
The movie, which Ice Cube and DJ Pooh wrote, was a commercial success and garnered a cult following.
The phrase “Bye, Felicia” originated from the movie and is a social media meme.
While Tucker was a Def Jam comedy standout, the movie was his breakout role as an actor.
“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 Flix Talk podcast, adding:
“Because I said, ‘Man, that movie became a phenomenon. ‘I don’t want everybody smoking 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.’”
The 50-year-old actor is not wrong about his character’s influence on weed smoking. Smokey is a loveable pothead who owed a drug dealer money in the stoner comedy.
One of the famous quotes from the movie comes from Smokey:
“I know ya don’t smoke weed, I know this. But I’m gonna get you high today cause it’s Friday, you ain’t got no job and you ain’t got s**t to do.”
The quote is frequently cited on social media and clips from his character garner millions of views on social media and YouTube.
“It probably was good for me, because it kept me moving to the next phase . . . the next movies,” he said, noting the success of his other projects, such as the Rush Hour movies.
Tucker earned as estimated $50 million from Rush Hour movies
Tucker went on to star in action-comedy Rush Hour alongside Jackie Chan as detective James Carter.
He reportedly earned $20 million for Rush Hour 2 and $25 million for Rush Hour 3, in addition to 20 percent of gross profits.
All three movies were a commercial success, but the actor returned to stand-up comedy after the trilogy.
He returned to movies with the 2012 Silver Linings Playbook, alongside Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro and the 2016 movie Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
Tucker earned $10,000 for Friday role
The weed wasn’t the only reason Tucker did not return to the Friday sequels.
The comedian and actor revealed he earned a small amount for the movie. He also said the movie had a small budget of about $3 million and only took 20 days to film.
“It’s one of those things… it was just a small movie,” Tucker said. “We filmed it in 20 days. I got about $10,000 for it or whatever; I didn’t care. I wanted the opportunity,” he said during an interview on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast Club Shay Shay.