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‘I Wanted the Opportunity’: Chris Tucker Reveals He Was Only Paid $10K for His Iconic Role In ‘Friday’

Veteran comedian Chris Tucker has appeared in over a dozen movies, but his most iconic role may arguably be the pot-smoking California street kid, Smokey, from the 1990’s classic “Friday.”

However, during an interview with Shannon Sharpe and his “Club Shay Shay” series, the actor revealed that the pay he received for the “Friday” part wasn’t as big as the role itself. 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 09: Comedian Chris Tucker attends Byron Allen’s 4th Annual Oscar Gala to Benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on February 09, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Entertainment Studios)

“It’s one of those things — it was just a small move,” Tucker told Sharpe while the pair discussed what it’s like hearing people quote his character years later. “We filmed it in 20 days. I got about $10,000 for it or whatever; I didn’t care. I wanted the opportunity.”

The former football star was shocked to hear that Tucker’s pay was so low, given its impact. However, the “Rush Hour” star explained that the film’s entire budget was only between $2 million and $3 million, and that they only had 20 days and two chances to deliver their lines or forfeit the scene. Tucker joked that he remembered that detail because the director reminded him every day.

“It was that small of a move, but that was the beauty of it,” Tucker continued. “It allowed me to get into character. It wasn’t no big distractions like big movie sets. You got light people and sound people, and everybody wanna be a star. But that movie was just a camera and me and Cube on the porch. Magic came out of it, thank God.”  

Fans of the “Hood Classic” have been anticipating another installment of the film. There are currently three: “Friday,” “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next.” In 2019, during an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump,” creator and star Ice Cube revealed that the script was completed and was undergoing edits from the film studio.

At the time, Cube expressed that he would love for the film to hit theaters on April 26, for the 25th anniversary of the initial movie. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entertainment world took a big hit. The “Friday” franchise also lost two members of its cast. John Witherspoon, who played Pops, passed away in October 2019. Tommy “Tiny” Lister, who portrayed Deebo, passed away in December of last year. There’s currently no word on if and when the film will be released.  

Check out the “Club Shay Shay” clip of Chris Tucker discussing more “Friday” memories. 

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