Weed out of the picture: The true reason Tucker skipped 'Friday' sequels
A nostalgic peek into Chris Tucker’s Smokey days and his shocking $12 million pass for the sequels. Was faith more potent than weed?
Ah, 1995. A year where "Friday" ruled and Chris Tucker's Smokey became the talk of Tinseltown. However, while the iconic film left fans wanting more, Tucker's appearance as the hilarious Smokey became a solo act. Fast forward to 2021, when Ice Cube unveiled the startling revelation of why Tucker declined a multi-million dollar offer to reprise his role.
A Pass on the Puff and the Paycheck
Friday and its sequels went on to become major cultural touchpoints. While many reminisced about Tucker's antics as Smokey, some couldn't help but wonder why he went MIA in Next Friday and Friday After Next. Decades later, fans finally got their answer.
It wasn't about the Benjamins! According to Cube, $10-12m was on the table for Tucker. Yet, the lure of green wasn't potent enough. Tucker's sudden spiritual awakening nudged him to decline roles that advocated swearing and lighting up on screen. A surprising choice, especially when such roles had previously catapulted him to fame.
Faizon's Two Cents and Gratitude Galore
The conversation about Tucker's absence further spotlighted the pay structure of Friday. With Faizon Love's candid revelation of his $2,500 paycheck for the role of Big Worm, speculation raged. But Love's Instagram post put matters to rest. His paycheck, though meager, was his ticket to a legendary cinematic universe. As Love put it, it was the price of admission to a game. Gratitude gushed as Love thanked Cube and other "Friday" makers.
Tucker, in a rare 2021 interview, echoed sentiments about his no-smoking stance. While the "Friday" sequel might've been a golden ticket, for Tucker, it was more about the message. He reflected on the film's enormous impact and his hesitance to make pot puffing a popular phenomenon.
A 'High' we Never Saw
Looking back, Friday remains a masterpiece, and Tucker's Smokey is a performance for the ages. But as the sequels rolled without him, one can't help but marvel at an actor's determination to prioritize principles over paychecks. Chris Tucker might've forsaken sequels, but in doing so, he scripted an inspiring off-screen narrative of values over vices.
Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.