Angela Means is candidly opening up about her role in the classic 1995 film “Friday,” a role, as the neighborhood crackhead, that she saw as an opportunity to play an “interesting character.” The actress played Felisha, who also was a moocher who was involved with Tommy “Tiny” Lister’s character, Deebo. Fans often recreated the infamous scene where Ice Cube‘s character, Craig, told the sister of the woman he was infatuated with to go home by saying, “Bye Felicia.” Contrary to reports on IMBD.com, fans and outlets often use the misspelled version, “Felicia.”
In an interview with Comedy Hype, Means described landing the role as marking a check off the bucket list she made on the flight from Atlanta, Georgia, to Los Angeles, California, where “Friday” was filmed. After national and global commercials, she said one of the last things she added was to play an “interesting character.”
“When I got a call for that audition, I was like ‘This is her,’ ” she said about her role as Felisha. “This is it.” To better understand her character, Means recalled writing a “very intense bio” that explained Felisha’s background: where she went to school and everything else about her.
“I wish I still had that thing,” she continued. “Oh boy. I put everything down on paper then I put it inside … I trusted it and Angela went away.”
In her preparation, the “In Living Color” star said she worked the Meisner Technique, which is an acting approach that includes emotional preparation, repetition and improvisation. She explained how she became one with her character, adding, “I was really this person,” in reference to Felisha’s past. “I was really feeling her motions. I was feeling a lot of fear. A lot of things happened to Felisha.”
The 47-year-old also shared that she has always been confused and haunted by Felisha’s mistreatment in the film since its release.
“Why was there so much hate for such an obviously beautiful woman?” she said while holding back tears and describing herself as a “kind” woman who didn’t use profanity.
She wondered, “Why would people be so unkind to a family member? Why would people be so dismissive? Why would no one defend her? And I’ve asked this question for 30 years.”
The mistreatment of the character shifted to real life, according to Means, who shared that many still publicly refer to her as “dirty b***h” as actors did in the film. She said no one ever stopped and said, “ ‘Hey, it’s Felisha. I wonder what’s going on with her.’ Not one person.”
Means also mentioned the violent narrative around Black experiences in films in the ’90s. She saluted “Friday’s creators for showcasing an honest view, but she admitted, “We let Felisha fall through the cracks.”
In the conclusion of “Friday,” Deebo beat up Felisha for allegedly stealing his money after waking up to an empty wallet. Means got teary-eyed as she empathized with her character who was abused and still loved her abuser.
“Why didn’t anyone get upset when she showed up beat up? And you saw she didn’t steal any money,” said Means, describing Felisha’s loyalty to Deebo, whom she described as “a bully who was bullied.”
In exchange for beating Felisha and slapping her sister, Debbie — played by Nia Long — in the face, Deebo had to square up with pistol-toting Craig. The two fought in the street for a couple of rounds before Craig ultimately knocked him out, hence the infamous “You got knocked the f**k out” scene.”
“And did you see at the end of the film, who was there when he was knocked out, who was standing right by his side. She didn’t get any points for that. She was trying to help him as much as she needed help.”
The reactions to her comments were split.
“What’s crazy is that don’t nobody remember her from House Party 3!!! She was bad to tha bone in that movie!!! To be honest, she still is beautiful!!!”
Means also played Kid’s (from Kid ‘n Play) love interest, Veda, in “House Party 3.”
“So Disgusting that’s horrible !”
“Ion know if I’m believing this [monkey emoji] If I saw this woman walking down the street I would have never thought to myself that’s Felicia!”