Comedic actor Chris Tucker turned down $10-$12 million to reprise his role as a foul-mouthed pothead in the “Next Friday” movie because of his religion, executive producer Ice Cube revealed after being accused of “robbing” actors linked to the cult classic.
Cube came to his own defense after a random Twitter user called him out for allegedly “robbing” Tucker and “Friday” co-star Faizon Love, the latter of whom revealed he was paid $2,500 for his role as Big Worm in the 1995 film. “Friday,” made on a $3.5 million budget, eventually grossed more than $27 million at the box office.
However, the rapper denied robbing anyone, adding, “The 1995 ‘Friday’ movie cost $2.3m to make. Shot it in 20 days. Fazion worked 1 day, maybe 2. All the actors got paid scale to do the movie. They could’ve simple [sic] said ‘No’ but they didn’t. So miss me with that sh-t…”
Cube also explained why Tucker didn’t appear in the “Next Friday” follow-up.
“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,” he tweeted.
Tucker previously shared publicly that he wasn’t paid much for his role in the first “Friday” movie.
The actor told Shannon Sharpe in January 2021 that he was paid “about $10,000” for his work because “Friday” was “just a small movie.” He said at the time he didn’t care about the pay because he was grateful for the opportunity.
But the 50-year-old star has also confirmed that he was not interested in again portraying a character who smokes weed. He has long spoken out about choosing work that doesn’t involve him doing typical raunchy material because of his Christian beliefs, especially in his stand-up shows.
“I never was a raunchy, raunchy comic but I didn’t think about what I was saying because I was young,” he told The Georgia Straight in 2014. “Being a Christian helps me in comedy. I have to talk about other stuff. Normally, most comics talk about stuff that’s easy—maybe cussing or saying something raunchy. I have to dig deeper to find something that’s still funny and not raunchy. It’s harder. I like the challenge.”
In addition to his role in “Friday,” the award-winning actor is also celebrated for his performances in “The Fifth Element” and the “Rush Hour” movies. Tucker’s portrayal as James Carter alongside Jackie Chan’s Yan Naing Lee in the 1998 movie was such a hit that it soon made him Hollywood’s highest-paid actor — due to his $20 and $25 million pay for “Rush Hour” parts two and three, respectively.