‘Friday’: Chris Tucker Ranted No One Would Watch ‘an Ice Cube Movie’

In 1995, Friday hit theaters, and it didn’t take long for the comedy to develop into a cult classic. Decades later, the movie — which stars Ice Cube and Chris Tucker — continues to be beloved by generations of fans. And even though Tucker didn’t appear in either of the two Friday sequels, rumors are still swirling that the duo who headlined the first film could reunite someday. Ironically, Tucker almost didn’t star in Friday because he refused to believe anyone would want to see a movie led by Ice Cube.

Chris Tucker wears a suit as he speaks onstage
Chris Tucker | Paras Griffin

Chris Tucker had barely any movie experience prior to making ‘Friday’

Although Tucker was the clear breakout of Friday, the movie also did wonders for Ice Cube’s movie career. The actor had appeared in a handful of films before, including Boyz n the Hood and Higher Learning. But those were mostly as a key part of ensemble casts. In Friday, Ice Cube’s Craig was the clear lead, with Smokey as the second most important character. And yet, Tucker had even less movie experience than his more accomplished co-star.

In 1993, Tucker appeared uncredited as a mall MC in the superhero comedy The Meteor Man. And then the following year, the actor had a small role as Johnny Booze in House Party 3. That movie and his appearance on Def Comedy Jam caught the attention of Ice Cube and co-writer DJ Pooh, both of whom were convinced Tucker was perfect for Smokey. But before that could happen, Tucker had to commit to taking the project seriously.

RELATED: ‘Friday’: The Big Reason Chris Tucker Beat Chris Rock for Smokey

The actor complained no one wanted to see a film starring Ice Cube

When Tucker went in for his first audition on Friday, he didn’t make a good impression. According to his friend and eventual co-star Faizon Love, Tucker had faced a string of failed auditions. And that led him not to take Friday seriously. The lead actor attached to the movie — then unproven as a movie star — likely didn’t help.

“Chris was frustrated,” Love told Complex. “He had lost some roles to D.L. Hughley and some other comedians. He was like, ‘F–k this s–t.’ He half-heartedly went through the audition and didn’t do good the first time. He didn’t give a f–k. He was like, ‘Man! Ain’t nobody going to go see an Ice Cube movie!’ His exact words. I’m like, ‘Are you crazy, motherf–ker?!'”

Thankfully, casting director Patricia Charbonnet gave Tucker another chance to audition. This time, Love and another Friday actor, Angela Means, managed to get Tucker ready. And when he went in, the actor proved he was the perfect choice to play Smokey.

Will Chris Tucker and Ice Cube reunite on the long-discussed ‘Last Friday’?

While Tucker chose not to return for either Friday sequel, Ice Cube still occasionally brings up his proposed fourth installment in the series. Last Friday could even open the door for Tucker’s Smokey to reunite with Ice Cube’s Craig at least one last time. In subsequent movies, Craig was accompanied by Mike Epps’ Day Day. But Last Friday would see the three men share the screen for the first time.

Of course, nothing is official about Last Friday. Although Tucker has maintained he’s proud of his work on Friday, he also doesn’t seem eager to revisit it. Only time will tell if he comes around. But for now, fans probably shouldn’t get too excited at the prospect of a Smokey-Craig reunion.

RELATED: ‘Friday’: How Chris Tucker Turned a ‘Horrible’ Audition into His Breakout Role