Rapper Ice Cube recently opened up on Chris Tucker's absence from the "Friday" film's sequels. O'Shea Jackson Sr., better known as Ice Cube, revealed that his co-star declined a $10 million movie role because his character from the original 1995 film was known to cuss and smoke marijuana.
According to the Christian Post, Ice Cube shared that little fun fact on social media after a fan asked if Tucker quit because he was underpaid when playing the role of "Smokey" in the original 1995 film. Ice Cube shared on Twitter that "We were ready to pay Chris Tucker $10-12m to do 'Next Friday' but he turned us down for religious reasons. He didn't want to cuss or smoke weed on camera anymore."
Tucker, who is best known for his role in the "Rush Hour" films alongside Jackie Chan, had hinted at the reason why he refused to reprise his role as Smokey in the "Friday" sequels "Next Friday" and "Friday After Next," which came out in 2000 and 2002 respectively, in an interview with All Urban Central last November.
The 50 year old "Rush Hour" star explained that one of the reasons why he declined reprising his role as Smokey was "because of the weed," adding that the movie had become a "phenomenon." Tucker said that he was worried about the impact the film had on its audiences, saying that he "[doesn't] want everybody smoking weed" and that he "'[doesn't] wanna represent everybody smoking weed.'
Tucker explained further that the marijuana smoking was one of the reasons why he said no to reprising the role in the sequels. He admitted, "I didn't wanna keep doing that character. It probably was good for me because it kept me moving to the next phase and next movies."
Tucker has long been vocal about his Christian faith. Back in 2018, he told Piers Morgan, who co-hosted ITV's "Good Morning Britain" at the time that the actor prayed fro former President Donald Trump. Tucker said that he hoped the president would do "a good job" because he was praying for him and because the U.S. "[needs] a good president." The actor also said he wanted to be friends with the businessman turned U.S. president and wished him success in leading the country.
Screen Rant reported that following his conversion to Christianity in 1997, Tucker became more selective of the roles he would play on the big screen. Following the "Rush Hour" franchise, Tucker chose to play a small supporting role in the Best Picture Oscar nominee "Silver Linings Playbook," alongside Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. He then went on to appear in ng Lee's 2016 war drama "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" and starred in a Netflix comedy special in 2015.
But Tucker admitted that it was his faith that brought him back to comedy. He told Straight in 2014 that "being Christian" helped him in comedy, because it pushed him to talk about other things, unlike other comics who would "talk about stuff that's easy - maybe cussing or saying something raunchy." For the actor, he had to "dig deeper to find something that's still funny and not raunchy. It's harder. I like the challenge."