Chris Tucker Was Reportedly Paid $10K For ‘Friday’ But Says It Wasn’t About Money — ‘I Just Wanted The Opportunity’

Chris Tucker has revealed his compensation for one of his most notable roles.

In 1995, the comedian-turned-actor starred in “Friday,” which was directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, according to IMBd. Tucker played the character Smokey and landed the role due to his humorous performances while touring with “Def Comedy Jam” in the ’90s.

“One day we were sitting around watching Def Comedy Jam, and we saw Chris [Tucker] perform, and me and Cube couldn’t stop laughing,” DJ Pooh told Complex. “We thought, ‘This dude would be able to play the hell out of Smokey. Let’s see if we can get him to come in and read for him.’ And that’s what happened, and it was over like that.”

Friday would go on to gross $28.2 million worldwide, according to IMBd. The budget to create “Friday” was $2.3 million, Ice Cube revealed on X, formerly known as Twitter. He also added that actors on the film were paid according to the scale of the budget. For Tucker this equated to a $10,000 check for the role, per TheGrio, which was less than his earnings from his tours with “Def Comedy Jam.”

“When I did the first ‘Friday’ back then I was like ‘I just want to do a good job on the movie and then move on to the next thing back then,’” Tucker explained during a podcast interview on “The Willie Moore Jr. Show.” “It wasn’t about money. Just kill it and then move on to the next thing.”

He added, “People always ask me, ‘Why you didn’t do “Friday II?”‘ It wasn’t because they didn’t pay me enough. I didn’t care about no money. I was making way more money on the road because I did ‘Def Jam.’ I was touring making plenty money on the road so that they didn’t even have to pay me nothing for the movie. I just wanted the opportunity.”


Tucker would go on to land additional roles including in “Jackie Brown” (1997), “Money Talks,” and three “Rush Hour” films released between 1998 and 2007, which were commercially successfully, grossing more than $507 million, per Box Office Mojo.

When asked if he would consider reprising his early role with “Friday,” it was previously reported by AFROTECH™ that Tucker turned down a $12 million offer from Ice Cube.

“He said it was for religious reasons,” Ice Cube shared on the “Full Send” podcast. “He didn’t wanna cuss, and he didn’t wanna smoke weed on camera.”

For “Friday” fans, not all hope is lost. It appears Tucker has had a change of heart and would return to the drawing board if it made sense.

“I don’t know, it have to be really really really something that’s come together good,” Tucker told Willie Moore Jr.

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