‘I Kinda Made It More Personal’: Chris Tucker Says ‘Friday’ Influence on Weed Culture Triggered His Exit from the Franchise

Chris Tucker as Smokey is one of the most notable roles from the “Friday” franchise created by rapper and star of the movie, Ice Cube. Tucker’s character provided endless quotable lines.

However, despite the film’s popularity and subsequent sequels, Tucker went noticeably missing from the franchise after its initial installment, with Mike Epps’ character filling in as the comedic relief. 

ENCINO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 29: Chris Tucker attends the “Thriller Night” Halloween Party hosted by Prince Michael Jackson and The Heal Los Angeles Foundation on October 29, 2021 in Encino, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Over the years, much had been speculated about the details surrounding the 50-year-old’s departure from the project. During a recent interview shared by several blog sites, the “Rush Hour” star said that the real reason why he didn’t appear in the movies following “Friday,” was in fact due to its influence on weed-focused comedies and the perceived message that may have been coming across from the smoking. 

“Back then, I gotta tell you, one of the reasons why I didn’t do the second one is because of the weed,” he said. “Because I said, ‘Man, that movie became a phenomenon. I don’t want everybody smokin’ 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.’ “


Tucker said things ultimately worked out well. Leaving the franchise later allowed him to venture off to other kinds of roles. However, fans didn’t appear to be buying the story the actor was giving, including one Twitter user who seemingly accused the star of continuously  changing his reasoning.

“Chris Tucker’s story has changed 30 times,” the person wrote. “He didn’t do any sequels because he didn’t make any real money on the first one, then he became a big star and they couldn’t afford him. Spoon confirmed this long ago.”

“Not chris tucker saying he didn’t do anymore Friday movies cuz he didn’t want ppl to think he thought smoking weed was cool …” wrote another unconvinced social media user. 

Earlier this year, Tucker divulged other details about his “Friday” role, including claims that he wasn’t paid much to star in the film. The actor told former football star Shannon Sharpe and his “Club Shay Shay” series, “It’s one of those things — it was just a small movie.” He added, “We filmed it in 20 days. I got about $10,000 for it or whatever; I didn’t care. I wanted the opportunity.”

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