Though the Friday film franchise has continued on without Chris Tucker and his hilarious role as Smokey in the 1995 cult classic, his absence from the subsequent sequels has arguably felt like having Kool-Aid but no sugar, peanut butter but no jelly, and ham with no burger.
Easily one of the most quoted characters, Tucker’s impact on the film can’t be understated, so many have wondered why he decided against returning to reprise his role over the years. Well, per Complex, we now know the reason why.
During a recent Instagram Live interview with Eddie Levert Sr. and his daughter Ryan, Tucker explained the driving force behind his decision to opt-out, sharing that it had to do largely with weed:
“I never really wanted to do another one. I always said, because I know my fans love the movies so much [and] they always bring it up, I said, ‘well, if they come to me with a great script and a great idea, I’d definitely consider it.’ But it’s been so long ago and that character became such a great character. I don’t wanna mess it up.”
He continued, “Back then, I gotta tell you, one of the reasons why I didn’t do the second one was because of the weed. Because I said, man, that movie became a phenomenon. I don’t want everybody smoking weed and I never really told people this because I kind of forgot about it, but it was one of the reasons why I didn’t do it. Because I said, ‘I don’t wanna represent everybody smoking weed.’ And that’s one of the reasons why I said nah. I didn’t wanna keep doing that character. It probably was good for me because it kept me moving to the next phase and [the] next movies.”
Huh. Who woulda thunk it? The guy that plays “Smokey” didn’t want to continue being the face of weed smokers. I wish I could say his explanation didn’t make sense but in an industry that loves to typecast and pigeonhole actors into certain roles, I honestly don’t blame him for wanting to pursue other opportunities. Besides, he did say he might consider returning for the fourth installment, though it’s currently and unfortunately being held up by legalities and alleged discriminatory practices at the hands of Warner Bros. as put forth by Friday co-creator Ice Cube. So maybe, just maybe, we’ll get some more quotables from Tucker in the near future.