What the Hell Happened to Chris Tucker?

Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker

At one time, Chris Tucker was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.  He was able to command $25 million dollars for one movie.  And then, he disappeared.  Now sometimes, it feels like an actor has disappeared.  But in reality they are busily working on a bunch of movies most people have never heard of.  But not Tucker.  He really stopped working.  There’s not going to be a long line of direct-to-video thrillers this time around.  Tucker pulled a rare vanishing act at the top of his career.

What the hell happened?

Chris Tucker - Def Comedy Jam

Chris Tucker – Def Comedy Jam

Tucker grew up in Georgia where he worked for his dad’s janitorial business.  After he graduated from high school, Tucker moved to LA to pursue a career in stand-up comedy and acting.  Tucker explained his decision to leave right after high school:

I moved at an early age because I figured I’d have nothing to lose, and if it didn’t work out I could just move back.

In 1992, at the age of 20, Tucker was a frequent guest on HBO’s comedy show, Def Comedy Jam.

The show was hosted by Martin Lawrence who was also on his way to movie stardom.

Tucker made his acting debut in 1992 playing a rapper in an episode of the sit-com Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.  Tucker laughs about the experience:

Oh my gosh, I said one word, ‘Dang,’ and they cut it!

In 1993, Tucker had an uncredited role as an MC in Robert Townsend’s super hero comedy, Meteor Man.

Chris Tucker - House Party 3 - 1994

Chris Tucker – House Party 3 – 1994

In 1994, Tucker played his first character that actually had a name instead of “rapper” or “MC”.  He played Johnny Booze in the Kid’n Play comedy, House Party 3.

The third movie was intended to be the last in the series.  Christopher Reid (aka Kid) was about to get married and Christopher Martin (aka Play) decided to throw one final house party as a blow-out bachelor party.  That’s it.  That’s the plot.

Martin Lawrence had appeared in the first two movies.  But by this point, he had his own TV show titled Martin.  So he did not return for the third movie.  Tisha Campbell also appeared in the first two House Parties.  But she was Lawrence’s co-star on Martin and only appeared for a cameo in House Party 3.

That left room for some new blood.  Tucker appeared in his first credited role and Bernie Mac also joined the series.

Reviews were negative and according to Wikipedia, the movie was a box office bomb.  Yes, I’m nitpicking another Wikipedia entry.  Apologies in advance.  The first House Party grossed over $26 million in 1990.  It opened in third place in a limited release and held fifth place a few weeks later when it went into wide release.  It remains the most successful movie in the series.

The following year House Party 2 opened in first place at the box office.  It ended up grossing just under $20 million dollars.  Not as good as the first movie, but still a big enough hit to greenlight House Party 3.  Two years after that, House Party 3 opens in third place at the box office.  It’s opening weekend gross is almost identical to what House Party 2 made when it opened in first place despite playing in fewer theaters.

In the end, the House Party sequels ended up grossing about the same amount of money.  House Party 3 gross about $150,000 less than its predecessor.  Now, that’s not great but I don’t see how it qualifies as a box office bomb.  If anyone expected more from House Party 3, they were delusional.

House Party 3 was the last entry in the series to be released in theaters.  But a fourth movie was released direct to video in 2001 without Kid’n Play.  Then in 2013, Kid’n Play returned to the series for a fifth movie which was also released straight to video.

Chris Tucker - Friday - 1995

Chris Tucker – Friday – 1995

Tucker had a big year in 1995.  It started with the unlikely comedy hit, Friday.

The movie was about two stoners played by Ice Cube and Tucker who hang out on their porch watching what goes on in their neighborhood.  Ice Cube’s character has just lost his job.  Tucker played a pot dealer who has been smoking his own product.  His boss gives them both until 10 PM to pay him back $200.00.

Chris Rock and Tommy Davidson were considered for Tucker’s role.  The cast included Nia Long and Bernie Mac.  First time director F. Gary Gray also appeared in the movie.

Reviews for Friday were mostly positive.  It opened in second place at the box office behind While You Were Sleeping.  It ended up grossing over $27 million dollars on a budget of $3.5 million.  That’s very impressive for a movie that was shot in 20 days.

The movie spawned two sequels.  Next Friday came out in 2000 without Tucker.  It opened in first place and grossed twice what the first Friday did.  So naturally it was followed by The Friday After Next in 2002.  Ice Cube has talked about developing a fourth movie possibly to be titled Last Friday.  Whether or not Tucker would be involved has been a matter of speculation since he opted out of the previous sequels.

Next: Dead Presidents and The Fifth Element


Posted on February 16, 2015, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 65 Comments.

  1. Didn’t know about his conversion. That sums it up why he disappeared for so long.

    I thought Tucker was at his best in Friday, Dead Presidents, Jackie Brown, The First Rush Hour and Silver Linings. He was annoying as hell in the Fifth Element though. As a stand-up I always preferred another Chris, that being Chris Rock.

    Both the House Party and Friday series should have stopped after the first one.

    Jackie Brown finally found an audience. I know a few people who like it better than Pulp Fiction. Being released at the same time as the ridiculously overpraised Titanic didn’t help at all.


    • Yeah, I said before that the answer to the question of what happened to Chris Tucker was kind of a letdown. You’d like to think he imploded spectacularly. But it turns out he’s a decent fellow who found some amount of peace and had the resources not to have to compromise his beliefs. Or even have to work. It’s not as dramatic as some of the other stories in the series. But I think it’s a good one.

      I’ll add Rush Hour to that list of movies that should have stopped at one. But then, most series shouldn’t continue.

      My intro to Tucker was The Fifth Element and I hated him. Hate hate hated him! Then a few months later, I saw Jackie Brown and I loved his small role. It was the perfect amount of Chris Tucker with the perfect ending. I actually came to appreciate his motormouth mode in the first Rush Hour. And I really enjoyed his supporting turn in Silver Linings Playbook. What I have seen of his recent, clean stand-up is very funny. That’s hard to do. Only truly talented comics can do a clean set.


      • Chris Tucker Has Made Three Movies In 16 Years But Isn’t Ruling Out A New ‘Friday’:

        My first exposure to Chris Tucker was in 1998 when I went with a group of friends to watch Rush Hour. I didn’t see Friday or Jackie Brown until I was in college and was free to watch whatever cinematic choices my heart desired without having to first run them past my parents for a “senseless vulgarity” check. And I somehow missed The Fifth Element until just a few years ago. (For this I have no excuse, just the shame of missing out on probably the greatest combination of latex and Milla Jovovich that ever was.) What I remember the most about the Rush Hour screening is that leaving the theater, and for at least the rest of the summer, my friends found every possible opportunity to use Tucker’s line, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?”

        Since Rush Hour, Chris Tucker has made a total of three films — two of them being Rush Hour sequels. If you look at Tucker’s IMDb page, his movie credits list is short but relatively solid. While other actors might have far more roles, they’ve also got a lot more duds in the lineup, where Tucker has very few. Meteor Man and House Party 3 aren’t exactly classics, but if you look at Tucker’s films after Friday, most of them have been at least somewhat successful. Jackie Brown is arguably Quentin Tarantino’s weakest film — some of us legitimately enjoyed Death Proof more — but it’s still a pretty solid flick; the Rush Hour movies brought in gobs of cash; and Silver Linings Playbook was nominated for five Oscars. Even Tucker’s 1997 film, Money Talks, holds a respectable 6.1 on IMDb, which is like a 7.0 on the Brett Ratner scale.

        In 2006 Tucker had reportedly negotiated a base salary of $25 million for Rush Hour 3 and it later went on to make $258 million. So if movie-going audiences enjoy Chris Tucker’s movies, why has his movie career slowed down to the point of almost nonexistent? With today being Chris Tucker’s 42nd birthday, I decide to do a little detective work into why he only makes a movie every five years and what he’s been up to besides hosting last year’s BET Awards.

        Tax Problems — 2011

        It turns out that when you own a $6 million mansion and neglect your home owner’s taxes, the IRS notices. (Have we learned nothing about paying taxes from Willie Nelson?!) Here’s what People magazine had to say about the issue:

        Court documents reportedly show an $11.5 million IRS lien on the home in 2011 in order to collect federal income taxes from Tucker, whose monthly mortgage payment, the documents also show, was $25,812.50.

        There has been no comment from Tucker, but the Times Union of Albany, N.Y., reports that his comedy show scheduled in the city for this Sunday – and was a rescheduling of a postponed Sept. 3 performance – has been canceled because of “unforeseen circumstances.”

        Now I’m sure that Tucker could have tacked on a last-minute “keep me out of jail” surcharge of $500 per ticket to resolve the money issue, but the kindly residents of Albany would have probably had some questions. Instead, this was likely one of Tucker’s big motivators for taking a role in Silver Linings Playbook the following year. The IRS and the possibility of going to “federal pound-me-the-ass prison” has a way of boosting one’s work ethic.

        Tucker’s Life with Frank Sinatra that just didn’t happen — 2007

        In 2007, it was reported that Chris Tucker would team up with director Brett Ratner for the fifth time to do Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra. The movie was to be based on George Jacobs’ biography of the same name and would put Tucker in the role of valet to Ol’ Blue Eyes. Then the economy turned to sh*t, New Line Cinema downsized, and Tucker’s life with Sinatra fizzled out.

        “Well, the break wasn’t planned—it just happened that way,” says Tucker at a hotel in midtown Manhattan. “I waited a long time and the right things weren’t coming to me—the roles I was offered weren’t that challenging—so I started trying to develop a bunch of projects for myself.” Via Daily Beast

        During this time, Tucker moved back to his native Atlanta and turned his focus back to his stand-up with plans of releasing a concert film in the vein of his childhood hero, Eddie Murphy.

        “It’s going to be like Eddie Murphy’s Raw or Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip,” he says with a grin. “That’s my dream because those are my idols who I grew up watching.”

        That was back in 2012 and for whatever reason, his stand-up concert movie has yet to be released. As of March 2014, Tucker’s special was under the working title Standing on the Edge with a proposed spring release. Tomorrow is September 1, so maybe he’s shooting for either an incredibly late or incredibly early spring release. If you really want a Chris Tucker stand-up special, I’d suggest making your own bootleg of his concert next week in Oakland. Just say that you’re doing an IRS documentary investigation piece if anybody gives you lip.

        Potential future projects

        Back to Chris Tucker not making movies, though. It’s a topic that comes up a lot in his interviews, but he admits it still takes him a bit by surprise when people ask “where have you been?”

        “It surprises me sometimes (when people wonder where I’ve been) because I’m always working,” Tucker said in a phone interview. “I’m on the road a lot. Last year, I was all over Australia and the Middle East. If you follow me on Twitter then you know.”

        “Wow, sounds like he’s a real road warrior, I wonder how many dates are on his tour and when he’s coming to my town?” Two. There are two dates on his calendar and unless you live in Oakland or Detroit, he’s not coming to your town. So again, why isn’t Chris Tucker making movies?

        AVC: You’re probably asked this question a lot, but why do you make so few films?

        CT: You know what? It’s not on purpose. It’s just, I have a great life, I just live, and when something comes around… You know, I’ve been touring for the last five, six years, on the road doing stand-up, doing theaters and stuff like that, so whenever something good comes around I’ll do it, but no particular reason.

        Just livin’ the good life, fair enough. As for Chris Tucker’s next movie, who knows when that will happen. IMDb lists Rush Hour 4 as “just announced” and there’s also the slight possibility of him reuniting with Ice Cube for one last Friday adventure.

        “The studios want to do it and they want to get a good script, and I’m willing to look at it and see if it’s something cool. I’m trying to help them come up with some ideas and be a part of the producing process with Cube and see if we can come up with something. “

        So, considering that Silver Linings Playbook came out in 2012, we can maybe look forward to that next Friday movie around 2017.


      • Faith keeps Chris Tucker’s comedy clean:

        When Chris Tucker picks up the phone, I expect the high-pitched, high-energy voice from movies such as The Fifth Element, Jackie Brown, and all three Rush Hour installments. Instead of a shrill soprano, I get a chill tenor. For all I know, he’s an impostor. But he knows his stuff, so I go with it.

        Tucker, once the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, has moved back home to Georgia and embraced the Lord. The films aren’t coming as fast and furiously as they once did, but he was in Silver Linings Playbook in 2012 and is set to star in Second Honeymoon next year.

        He’s always got standup to fall back on. That comes as a surprise to some, who only know him from the big screen, but the 41-year-old got his start doing standup at a high-school talent show, continued in some local dance clubs and bars, and soon was a regular on Def Comedy Jam, the HBO standup showcase that launched the career of many an African-American comic.

        Tucker took a few years off from performing live when his movie work was at full throttle, but he’s been back at it for about eight years. And loving it.

        “I’m so happy to be back doing it now because this is where it all started,” he says from his home in Atlanta. “This got me to the movies, standup comedy. That’s something.”

        Something, indeed. Tucker reportedly got a cool US$25 million for appearing in Rush Hour 3. Still, it’s the original he counts as his personal favourite.

        “It was the first Rush Hour, because I had to transition into, I guess, a man,” he says. “It was kind of like I had to create another character that would appeal to everybody. I always wanted to do a movie like Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop that captured a big audience. And it was really successful around the world. So I think that was one of my most rewarding characters.”

        He brings his act to Vancouver—for the first time—on Saturday (July 26), when he’ll be at the Orpheum along with opening acts Terry Hodges and his older brother Dexter Tucker.

        Tucker looks back fondly on his salad days before he could afford the Waldorf. Sure, success is nice and all, but there’s nothing like being hungry and on the rise.

        “It was more exciting,” he says. “Because it was just a dream then. Living with that dream was exciting and fun, and the possibilities of what could happen were so much fun. Just to go on-stage and get five minutes meant a big deal because it was so hard to get on-stage. There were so many comics jockeying for time.”

        He didn’t struggle as many young comics do. As you might guess from his fast-paced patter in the movies, Tucker’s mind works a mile a minute. “I sort of had an instinct for comedy,” he says. “Being the youngest of six kids, there was always something going on in our house. I was kind of quick-witted. I took that to high school and I was quick-witted there. So yeah, I kinda took to it pretty easy and knew I could do it. And it was something I would have fun doing because my imagination was all over the place then.”

        He says he talks about everything on-stage now, from current events to his life. “I talk about so much stuff that you wouldn’t know about me unless you came to the show,” he says. “It’s real cool because there’s no limits. Nothing I can’t talk about.”

        Well, except cursing. One of Tucker’s early influences was Robin Harris, best known for his role as Sweet Dick Willie in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. Then there were Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. They all made their mark on Tucker early, but unlike those notoriously blue comics, Tucker tries to keep it clean these days.

        In the old days, he used to be more liberal in his language. “I never was a raunchy, raunchy comic but I didn’t think about what I was saying because I was young,” he says. “Being a Christian helps me in comedy. I have to talk about other stuff. Normally, most comics talk about stuff that’s easy—maybe cussing or saying something raunchy. I have to dig deeper to find something that’s still funny and not raunchy. It’s harder. I like the challenge.”

        While it adheres to his personal sense of morality, he feels that being clean also sets him apart. “Everybody’s doing raunchy comedy,” Tucker says. “I go to comedy clubs and it’s like, ‘All right, how raunchy can you get?’ And it’s really not that funny to me. What’s funny to me is being creative and talking about stuff that I wouldn’t have thought about.”


  2. LOL at his “scene-stealing role” in THE FIFTH ELEMENT–you’re much more diplomatic in your language there than I would ever be.

    The best Chris Tucker movie is easily JACKIE BROWN. As I’ve noted here before, it’s one of QT’s worst movies but a few minutes after Tucker enters it Sam Jackson sticks him in a trunk and blows his head off with a shotgun. If every Tucker film offered that, I’d probably pay to see them. But they have to be short films–I don’t want to listen to him.

    The answer to what the hell happened to the painfully unfunny Chris Tucker is that he sucked when no one knew who he was, then a lot of people lost their minds and decided his kind of suction was something they found amusing. He went away but continues to suck and likely always will; hopefully, disinterest in his suction will spread and we won’t have to hear any more from him unless we go looking for him. And hopefully, few ever will.


    • Yeah, I was being nice. I thought he ruined the movie. But you can’t argue that he didn’t steal every scene he was in. Then again, The Fifth Element would have sucked anyway. So maybe I should be giving Tucker credit for at least trying to do something interesting.

      I haven’t seen Friday which is supposed to be his funniest performance. He did make me laugh in the first Rush Hour in a cut-rate Eddie Murphy way. When I saw the trailer for Tower Heist, I thought it was sad to see Murphy in Chris Tucker mode. But I do think Tucker is talented. Jackie Brown and Silver Linings Playbook show that he can be a good supporting player. And even though the sequels were trash, the first Rush Hour is a pretty solid buddy cop movie. It took two actors I don’t care for on their own and played to both of their strengths just enough to fill a movie.


  3. I wasn’t even aware that Chris Tucker disappeared, or that he is born again. I’ve been pretty indifferent to him and his performances for the most part, but I liked his role in “Silver Linings Playbook” (a film I can relate to if there ever was one). Probably since I just viewed the playbook early last year is another reason I didn’t think Chris Tucker pulled a vanishing act.

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  4. The Lost Roles of Chris Tucker:

    In 2006, Chris Tucker was the highest paid actor in Hollywood, receiving a $25 million payday for appearing in Rush Hour 3. He even negotiated a larger salary and top billing over co-star Jackie Chan, who had more credits and had been a movie star for much longer. Most actors tend to capitalize on that kind of success by flooding the marketplace with more movies while they’re still at the height of their popularity. Not Chris Tucker. He’s been very picky with his projects, only starring in two movies in the past 10 years — Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2 — while his peers like Jason Bateman, Justin Timberlake, and Emma Stone have starred in two movies this summer alone. It’s almost as if Chris Tucker could sense the public getting sick of his squealy voice and limited persona.

    While the reasons for his retreat from stardom remain unclear, Chris Tucker has been attached to dozens of projects over the years that never made into production. Read on to learn about the classic Peter Sellers character he almost played, the film that would have marked the acting debut of President Bill Clinton, Chris Tucker’s Bollywood remake, and more proposed movies that make Tracy Jordan’s starring vehicles from 30 Rock seem tame. For those wondering why Chris Tucker hasn’t appeared in many movies lately, taking a look at the movies he almost made should turn that curiosity into exuberant joy that none of them came to be.

    Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
    The role: Detective Lee Butters
    Who got it: Chris Rock
    Busy filming the first Rush Hour at the time, Chris Tucker opted out of this Lethal Weapon sequel, allowing another foul-mouthed stand-up named Chris to take the part. Making Rush Hour, which was in many ways a successor to the Lethal Weapon series, instead of this was a smart move. Rush Hour became Tucker’s biggest hit at the time and turned him into a major star. In Rush Hour, Chris Tucker was front and center, but the Lethal Weapon part was a supporting role on par with his turns in Jackie Brown and The Fifth Element (which I’d say is about the maximum amount of Chris Tucker I can handle in a movie). Although he’d toplined a couple movies beforehand, Rush Hour proved Chris Tucker was a bankable movie star.
    Any Given Sunday (1999)
    The role: Willie Beamen
    Who got it: Jamie Foxx
    Chris Tucker turned down the role of a major league football player in this Oliver Stone drama. Jamie Foxx, who belonged to Tucker’s class of comedic actors, took the part. Unlike Tucker, he had played high school football, so he had some actual experience to draw upon. Any Given Sunday served as Jamie Foxx’s breakthrough dramatic role and the start of a path that led the actor to his 2005 Oscar win for Ray. Chris Tucker accepting this part may have put a stop to Foxx’s ascent in Hollywood, but it’s hard to imagine Tucker would have used this role as a springboard to the same success. Chris Tucker probably wouldn’t have transitioned into a career as a respected dramatic actor if he’d taken this role, but no one was expecting then-comic actor Jamie Foxx to rise to the occasion either.
    Next Friday (2000) and 4. Friday After Next (2002)
    The role: Smokey
    Who got it: Mike Epps (playing a different character)
    Tucker turned down the chance to reprise the role of Smokey in the second and third installments in this stoner series, attributing his decision to having become a born-again Christian. Mike Epps was brought in to fill in as Ice Cube’s new sidekick. Although they made more money, these Friday sequels were never as acclaimed or as relevant as the original, and that’s largely due to Tucker’s absence. Chris Tucker’s career was peaking around the time of the Friday sequels; he was still riding high on the success of the first two Rush Hours. Appearing in these silly stoner romps would have been a step down for him both in terms of pay and the popularity of his films.
    Agent Double-O-Soul (unproduced)
    This ill-conceived spy comedy had Chris Tucker attached to star in 1998, with Mariah Carey signed on to make her movie debut as his love interest. In the film, which was written by Antwone Fisher (yes, that Antwone Fisher), Tucker would have played a hip spy with a slew of crazy gadgets, including sunglasses with a built-in gun that is set off by ear-wiggling, an air conditioned trench coat, a talking car, and a “midget sidekick.” Production was scheduled to begin in the fall of 1998, but things never got off the ground. By 2001, Mariah Carey had made her starring film debut in Glitter, a massive bomb, and she dropped out of this project. 2002 saw the release of Undercover Brother, the Eddie Griffin spy comedy that seems a little too similar to Agent Double-O-Soul. Perhaps the emergence of Undercover Brother and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, which also featured similar plot elements to Agent Double-O-Soul, put the kibosh on this one. If Agent Double-O-Soul had received the tepid reaction that Undercover Brother or Mariah Carey’s Glitter garnered, then it would have taken some momentum out of Chris Tucker’s career at a time when he was coming off a major hit and it seemed like he was ramping up to be a major force in the entertainment industry.
    Black Knight (2001)
    The role: Jamal Walker
    Who got it: Martin Lawrence
    Chris Tucker and F. Gary Gray, the director of the original Friday, were attached to this time travel comedy, but they both dropped out due to concerns with the script. In the movie, Martin Lawrence plays an employee at a medieval theme park who is sent back in time to the Middle Ages and spends the next 90 minutes complaining about the lack of indoor plumbing and leering at medieval women. Chris Tucker was best served to stay as far away from this one as possible.
    Mr. President (unproduced)
    Back in 1999, when the idea of a Black U.S. President was an outlandish fantasy fit for a broad Hollywood comedy, Chris Tucker was set to make his directorial debut with Mr. President, in which he was to star as an average guy who is unexpectedly elected to this nation’s highest office, becoming the first Black man to hold the position. The project was racing Chris Rock’s Head of State to production, which featured an identical premise and a similar star in the title role. Rumors of a feud between Tucker and Rock were denied by Tucker, but it’s hard to believe there wasn’t a sense of competition over this. These films were passion projects for the two comedians, as both stars were set to direct their respective first Black president movies. Head of State made it to theaters in 2003, before Mr. President even began filming, but Chris Tucker has insisted that his movie was going to be produced as recently as 2007. Tucker did quite a bit of work to research his role. He visited troops in Virginia, volunteered to promote voter registration, and consulted with Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and Jesse Jackson, the first major Black presidential candidate. By 2008, Barack Obama was elected president in real life, and this movie was scrapped. The most interesting thing about Mr. President, though, is that Chris Tucker once claimed that Bill Clinton wanted to play a supporting role, saying in 2001:

    “President Clinton said he wanted to do a cameo. But he doesn’t want to play himself. He wants to play a regular person in the movie.”

    I find all of this pretty hard to believe, but these words did come out of Chris Tucker’s mouth. It’s absurd to think of Bill Clinton appearing in a comedy, but him playing a character and not just cameoing as himself is fucking ridiculous. Although Mr. President would have been without a doubt god-awful, I feel like we really missed out on something as a nation here. Mr. President could have seen Bill Clinton becoming the heir to Rodney Dangerfield’s throne and been the start of a promising comedy career.

    The Pink Panther (2006)
    The role: Inspector Jacques Closeau
    Who got it: Steve Martin
    Producer Ivan Reitman considered Chris Tucker to play Inspector Closseau in this affront to comedy. Tucker was pretty far along in the casting process, having participated in a table reading with Reitman and studio executives, but things didn’t get much further than that. And people complain about Steve Martin tarnishing Peter Sellers’s legacy.
    Stand-up comedy concert film (unproduced)
    In 2001, Chris Tucker announced plans to film a stand-up comedy performance for theatrical release. Tucker’s roots are in stand-up; he was a frequent Def Jam comedian in his early days. The film, though, never materialized, but Chris Tucker has talked it up as recently as 2007, making comparisons to Eddie Murphy’s Raw and Richard Pryor’s Live in Concert. Those are pretty ambitious movies to compare his to, two of the most prolific stand-up films ever made. There’s obviously no way Chris Tucker’s movie would have been able to reach the heights of Murphy or Pryor’s stand-up films. These stand-up comedy concert films seem like kind of an outdated concept, since video of stand-up has been readily available on TV and the Internet for a number of years, and there’s nothing about stand-up that lends itself to the big screen. Although I loved Louis C.K.’s recent film Hilarious, the last stand-up movie that was a big hit was The Original Kings of Comedy over a decade ago. These movies can usually turn a quick profit, especially with a big star like Chris Tucker at the center, as they’re cheap to make when compared to a narrative film. Nevertheless, a Chris Tucker stand-up film just seems unnecessary (especially considering that theatrical stand-up movies seem unnecessary on the whole these days).
    Knight and Day (2010)
    The role: Roy Miller
    Who got it: Tom Cruise
    Knight and Day was in Development Hell for several years before it made it to theaters, causing audiences to feel like they were in Actual Hell. Originally, Chris Tucker and Eva Mendes were attached to star in the film around 2005 when it was titled Trouble Man. Trouble Man’s a bad name for a movie, almost sounding like a bad Japanese translation, but it pales in comparison to the film’s eventual title, Knight and Day. No one in the movie is named Knight, and it doesn’t feature any knights. It’s a completely nonsensical, unjustified pun.
    Tower Heist (set for release later in 2011)
    Tower Heist is an upcoming Ben Stiller-Eddie Murphy comedy from “director” Brett Ratner, who “collaborated” with Chris Tucker on the Rush Hour “films.” It’s set for release this fall and revolves around a group of people who band together to rob residents of Trump Tower. This is another one that was stuck in Development Hell for several years. In development since the early 2000s, Tower Heist was originally called Trump Heist and was envisioned as a “black Ocean’s Eleven.” Ratner wanted Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, and Sidney Poitier to play the main characters, but Murphy was the only one who signed on. Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, and Alan Alda ended up joining the cast, which, needless to say, screwed up that whole “black Ocean’s Eleven” thing. Ratner’s been responsible for Chris Tucker’s three biggest hits (Rush Hour 1, 2, and 3), but it doesn’t seem like this one is going to be as popular as that franchise was.
    Untitled Chris Tucker-Jackie Chan Reunion Film (unproduced)
    Back in 2009, another Chris Tucker-Jackie Chan project was announced that was going to be a separate entity from the Rush Hour series. Little information about the film surfaced, but it now seems to have fallen apart. I know the Rush Hour movies were very popular and largely because of these two stars and their chemistry, but I feel like audiences should have gotten their fill by now. Are people really clamoring for another Tucker-Chan joint? It’s about time we turn our backs on this revolting era in cinematic history. The Rush Hour Years should be behind us by now.
    Going into drama
    In interviews, Chris Tucker has mentioned his lofty ambitions to branch out into drama, saying he’d like to try his hand at movies similar to Forrest Gump and The Color Purple. It sounds like a bad idea to me, but a lot of comedic actors have pulled off this transition gracefully, and it’s not always the ones you’d expect who find that kind of success with it. I don’t think anyone’s begging for Tucker to take a dramatic turn, but he sure does enjoy talking about it a lot:

    “I want to do movies about Black history and Black history doesn’t begin in America. We need to go back to Africa. Those stories need to be told. It’s good to do movies that are fun. But sometimes you need to do something to inspire people.”

    I don’t know about you, but I was pretty inspired by Money Talks.

    Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra (unproduced)
    The role: George Jacobs
    In 2007, Chris Tucker signed on to star in Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra, an adaptation of the memoir by Frank Sinatra’s longtime chauffeur George Jacobs. Jacobs’s book offered a rare behind-the-scenes look at Sinatra’s life and that of the Rat Pack. Brett Ratner was attached to direct, but Ratner and Tucker never got the ball rolling.
    Gangsta, M.D. (unproduced)
    Easily the most absurd project on this list — crazier than titling a movie Agent Double-O-Soul or Bill Clinton deciding to try acting or the idea of Chris Tucker playing Inspector Closseau — is Gangsta, M.D. Based on a hit Bollywood film called Munnabhai M.B.B.S., Gangsta, M.D. was to star Chris Tucker as a street thug who enrolls in medical school to placate his mother. This one was announced in 2006, but Chris Tucker seems to have dropped out of his commitment, just like he’s done with every project in the past decade that didn’t include the phrase “Can you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?” in the script. It’s a shame Gangsta, M.D. never materialized, as it combines so many things I love: Chris Tucker, Bollywood, and gangsters going to medical school. I can just see the poster hanging in Tracy Jordan’s office now. The 30 Rock writers could save a lot of time and effort by just cribbing from abandoned Chris Tucker vehicles to flesh out their cartoonish character’s fake filmography.
    Django Unchained (set for release in late 2012)
    The role: Django
    Who got it: Jamie Foxx
    Along with Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, and Idris Elba, Chris Tucker was one of the actors in talks for the lead part in Quentin Tarantino’s next movie, Django Unchained. The film is the story of an escaped slave who takes revenge on his former master, all shot in the style of a spaghetti western. Jamie Foxx will be starring alongside a bevy of acclaimed actors that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, and Kevin Costner. Tucker seems like he would have been an odd choice for a film that has a strong chance at being an awards contender, but he has done quality work with Tarantino before in Jackie Brown.

    Quentin Tarantino also has that fascination with rediscovering forgotten actors and using them in new and interesting ways. If Chris Tucker were cast, Tarantino could have done for him what he’s done for John Travolta, Robert Forster, and Darryl Hannah. Landing the lead part in Django Unchained would have been a boon to Chris Tucker’s career. He’s turned down and dropped out of a lot of projects over the past several years, but his actions were justified most of the time, as many of the roles that were offered to him sound abysmal to begin with. Unlike most of the films he almost ended up in, Django Unchained seems like it may be destined for Oscar glory, rather than the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.


  5. How Chris Tucker Made a Fortune in Films Without Making Movies:

    A lot has happened since Chris Tucker last made a movie. People learned who Gary Condit was, then stopped caring. The Taliban left power. Dogs were let out and some guys named the Baha Men sought out those responsible. John Travolta starred in six movies, and no one liked any of them. A disheveled, unknown genre director named Peter Jackson brought The Lord of the Rings to the big screen and became a household name.

    And through it all, Chris Tucker sat and waited. Waited for the right role, waited for the right deal, and waited for exactly what he got this November: A fat contract, a near-guaranteed hit, and a validation of what will soon be a five-year hiatus from the silver screen.

    A couple of weeks ago, reports emerged that Tucker had inked a deal for $20 million against 20 percent of the gross to star in Rush Hour 3. It would be a follow-up to the second installment of the franchise, which marked Tucker’s last onscreen outing in 2001. Despite Tucker’s time on the bench, the deal marked a raise from his reported previous flat fee of $20 million. Details of Tucker’s salaries are a bit sketchy, since “$20 million and 20 percent of the gross” seem highly unlikely. But no matter what, Tucker’s new contract is big, and represents more than just a substantial deal for a well-rested actor. The contract represents an interesting model in career management, and one based on principles that can be pretty hard to find in Hollywood: patience, selectivity, self-awareness, and realistically modest ambitions.

    What Tucker has done so wisely is stick to the path of a movie star, screen personality, and moneymaker who is not pretending to be a master thespian or versatile talent. He doesn’t need to make art, broaden his horizons, or satisfy some high-minded vision. He just needs to manage the Chris Tucker brand as well as he can. And unlike other stars who peddle established personae, Tucker understands that sometimes effectively following the “more of the same” game plan means interpreting the phrase very strictly. Not making any movies over the last five years was the smartest career move Chris Tucker ever made.

    Tucker managed his rise to the top with savvy. Coming out of standup comedy, he first gained big-screen fame when he helped propel Friday to a strong $27-plus million domestic gross despite the film’s modest $3.5 million budget. He bounced around a bit after that, from the black-cast crime drama Dead Presidents to the Tarantino-directed Jackie Brown to a shrieking, cartoonish performance in the shrieking cartoonish The Fifth Element. But none of these roles provided him with juicy lead parts or mainstream success.

    His big turn came in Money Talks with Charlie Sheen and future Rush Hour director Brett Ratner. While the movie grossed only $40 million with a budget far larger than Friday‘s, it was Tucker’s first stab at the mismatched buddy comedy genre that has launched so many other comedians into movie stardom (e.g., Eddie Murphy). It also began his working relationship with Ratner. With 1998 came Rush Hour, another mismatched buddy comedy with Ratner and Jackie Chan that brought in $141 million domestically and another $100 million abroad. By the time Tucker turned down Next Friday, he was already safe in knowing that Rush Hour‘s gross had eclipsed Friday‘s several times over. Tucker sat tight and waited until 2001’s Rush Hour 2, which brought in a whopping $347 million worldwide. And then he waited again. Until now.

    It may seem odd for Tucker to sit out of movies for years after such monstrous hits. He didn’t even cut a high-profile standup special like his contemporaries Chris Rock, Eddie Griffin, and Martin Lawrence. But while some might say he blew a chance to capitalize on or further his stardom, what he really did was incubate and protect his celebrity. With his gross points, if Rush Hour 3 is a success of nearly the same magnitude as its predecessor, Tucker could walk away with a $50 million payday. For an admittedly career-conscious movie star, why not take the safest possible step possible if it’s also a wildly lucrative one?

    Granted, Tucker was supposed to star in a White House comedy, which was cancelled in light of Chris Rock’s Head of State. But most stars would have found another project. What Tucker did was hold out to maintain his leverage instead of risking his big prize for a series of lesser opportunities. If Tucker had made two or three movies and they hadn’t performed well, then the producers of the Rush Hour franchise could have offered him significantly less money, knowing that he needed a surefire hit as much as the hit needed him. But by keeping his résumé unblemished, he left them with no leverage in dealing with him.

    Building a career outside big franchises is tricky. Mike Myers built his celebrity around three franchises: Wayne’s World, Shrek, and Austin Powers. He’s never had a real hit outside those series, but pretty much knows he can go back to the bank on Austin any time. The movies have been so successful, and they are so entirely dependent on Myers’ work from every angle, that Myers can make another Powers movie whenever he wants and be handsomely rewarded for it. It’s a nice safeguard, since dreck like View From the Top and The Cat in the Hat has so ruined his ability to do anything other than voicing a CGI ogre (which pays him an eight-figure salary without him having to comb his hair).

    But Myers is the exception, able to coast on his franchises like no star since the heyday of Schwarzenegger and Stallone — and he holds all the creative cards in one of them. A better comparison for Tucker is Pierce Brosnan. Now 52 and out of the James Bond job, Brosnan is past his prime for big roles and big chances. But unlike Tucker, he sought to capitalize on his franchise-given stardom between sequels. And while he found a touch of early success with Dante’s Peak and The Thomas Crown Affair, non-Bond efforts this decade have been little-seen fare like Laws of Attraction, After the Sunset, and The Tailor of Panama. Not that Brosnan would be overloaded with offers now if he had been pickier before, but if he hadn’t made so many non-Bond flops, his high Bond salary demands wouldn’t have been such an obstacle to making further 007 movies. Like Tucker, he could have held greater leverage with better planning.

    There are only a select few bankable comedic movie stars in Hollywood: Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, and Adam Sandler. And even those guys have had their share of flops. What Tucker has done is what heavy hitters from Hollywood to Wall Street to professional football would trade their left legs to do: remove chance from the picture. By narrowing his focus to the point of hardly working at all, Tucker has found a sure thing, which pays him more than all but a small cluster of stars. And in doing so, he’s crafted the most uniquely brilliant career strategy in Hollywood . . . even if it means we have to sit through another six lousy Travolta movies before we hear from him, again.


  6. Chris Tucker is the most annoying repellant repulsive actor to ever appear in movies. I never again want to see a movie if Chris Tucker is in it.


    • That seems extreme. He annoyed the heck out of me in 5th Element. But that movie was intentionally over-the-top. He’s quite good in Jackie Brown and Sliver Linings Playbook.


    • 10 Actors Who Ruin Any Film They’re In:

      Chris Tucker

      After the huge cult success of Boyz n The Hood, Ice Cube had established himself as a serious acting talent. In 1995 though, he looked to expand his repertoire with his screenwriting debut in Friday. Telling the story of two stoner friends who must repay their dealer, Cube starred alongside a relative unknown called Chris Tucker, and in the minds of American filmmakers something just sparked.

      Tucker played the painfully loud comic relief of the movie. Boisterous, camp, flamboyant, and delivering every single line with a shrill and ear-piercing screech, Tucker instantly found a niche that nobody had realised was needed. His career since has been mercifully scant, with his Rush Hour trilogy, and spots in The Fifth Element, Silver Linings Playbook and Jackie Brown all he really has to show for it.

      Regardless, the mere sight of Tucker on a screen illicits the same eye-rolling “oh here we go” response from audiences across the world, and it can only be a matter of time before another suitably irritating character is written to match his specific skill set.


  7. Friday is a comedy classic. At the place I worked at the time there was a huge group of us that constantly quoted from the movie for the longest time. Everybody in my circle knew Friday and would quote it. Friday did respectable business at the box office, but it really took on a second life on home video and became a durable cult hit, sort of like the original Austin Powers in a way. While the whole cast of Friday was great, Chris Tucker at the time was a revelation. He stole the show from some very talented people and delivered a star-making performance, which turned out to be true as his career skyrocketed from there in the following years.

    The Tucker-less Friday sequels were ok but Tucker’s presence was definately missing; neither of the sequels had the same magic. I’ve spent the last 20 years hoping to one day see a Friday reunion with Ice Cube and Tucker, but I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that it will probably never happen, or even if it does because Tucker is born-again it will offer a toothless version of Smokey as Tucker will no longer play a pothead like he did in the original. But that’s ok, because I will always have that first great comedy to watch.


  8. I’ve been a reader of the “What The Hell Happened To…?” series, but this is my first time commenting.

    I’d completely forgotten that Chris Tucker was in “Silver Linings Playbook” before reading this. He’s definitely one of those guys who seemed to be everywhere in his prime, but now has somewhat gone into the shadows.


    • Welcome to the comments! Thanks for reading.

      I used to get asked about Tucker fairly regularly. I think based on Friday, a lot of people assumed that Tucker got himself into some kind of trouble. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn that his departure from Hollywood was voluntary. Whether you share his beliefs or not, I think you have to respect that he has stuck to his convictions at the cost of millions of dollars. He’s living his life on his own terms.


  9. Top 10 Movie Stars Who Dropped Off the Map


  10. Great post, as always! I actually liked Tucker in the Fifth Element, however! 🙂


    • It’s a love it or hate it performance. I was completely unprepared for it. I remember reading reviews comparing The 5th Element to Star Wars. So I was expecting something more like that. But I can see why his over-the-top performance would appeal to someone who was vibing on Luc Besson’s sensibilities. Tucker’s performance fit the movie.


  11. He’s absolutely repellant. Like being hit on the head with a hammer. I never want to see him again.


  12. Retrospective / Review: The Fifth Element (1997)


  13. 10 Movies That Made You Love Unbearable Actors:

    Chris Tucker – Silver Linings Playbook

    For most, Chris Tucker marks the epitome of the unbearable actor. Though he certainly brought joy to many through a succession of shouty comic performances in films such as Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Rush Hour 3, and, uh, The Fifth Element, Tucker is only bearable in small doses. After a while, his voice begins to grate; imagine having him around all the time. He shouldn’t be in a film that runs longer than 90 minutes (though 85 is preferable).

    After disappearing for 5 years – presumably to bask in his millions – Tucker returned with a secondary role in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, in which he was… well, entirely bearable, actually, in a performance that felt almost anti-Tucker in nature.

    As Danny McDaniels, buddy to Bradley Cooper’s protagonist, Pat, Tucker dips in and out of the film with all the calmness of a light breeze; he’s charming, funny and – best of all – highly endurable whenever he’s on-screen. It’s a miracle!


  14. What is Chris Tucker Doing Now? What Happened to Chris Tucker?

    Hailed by some as the next Eddie Murphy, the actor and comedian known as Chris Tucker is an energetic celebrity who has recently been quiet in the world of film. His last major appearance was in 2013, when he hosted the BET Awards. What happened to the star of Friday and the Rush Hour series? Where is he today?

    Early Life

    Born in Georgia during the 1970s, Tucker was the youngest of six children. He learned to use his humorous side at an early age, since he had to be funny in order to get attention from his siblings and parents. He would watch Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, and would try and copy their styles. It seemed to be working, as he had a reputation throughout high school as a “class clown”, and he was able to even make his teachers laugh. One of his teachers even suggested to him that he should show off his stand up skills at the school’s talent show. He got the whole school laughing, and by the end, the cheers where deafening and not a single student or staff member could be seen sitting down.

    His classmates later voted him as “Most Humorous”, and Tucker decided that he was going to become a comedian upon graduation. He would go perform at a local comedy club. His shows always had a great response. More success arrived to him locally, and Tucker eventually decided to take his talents to Los Angeles, California, to pursue his career in comedy and acting.


    In 1992, Tucker performed regularly at Def Comedy Jam. This raised his stock to the point where he landed a role in House Party 3, and his career started to take off. A few years later he starred alongside Ice Cube in Friday, where he played the character Smoky, a marijuana dealer who had the potential to make a lot of money, but used most of the weed himself. Tucker’s humorous persona helped make the film a surprise hit. Tucker then was featured in Dead Presidents, showing off his acting talent in a serious film.

    In 1997, Tucker starred alongside Charlie Sheen in Money Talks, a movie about a criminal who makes a deal with a TV newsman for protection from the police and other criminals. The film was a massive hit, and he then starred alongside Bruce Willis in another film, The Fifth Element.

    When he landed the starring gig in the movie Rush Hour, his popularity started to explode. The movie was about two cops teaming up to get back a kidnapped daughter. It was the biggest hit of any movie Tucker had acted in, and he reprised his role for the next two movies in the franchise.

    Then What?

    Chris Tucker, for reasons unknown, put his acting career on hold between the Rush Hour films. His home was foreclosed in 2011, and he’s been quiet. Rumors started to circulate; some saying Tucker was dead. What happened to him?

    “I do remember that, man,” Tucker said when asked about the rumor. “That was crazy because that’s when the internet was just starting… I was kind of happy because that’s when people stopped asking me for money.”

    So he’s still alive, but what has he been up to? He’s currently trying to revive his comedy career, but what about his acting career?

    “Well, you know, I was looking for good movies,” he said when asked about the offers he turned down. His last movie he was seen in was Silver Linings Playbook, where he played a mental health facility resident opposite Bradley Cooper.

    “It was a fun part, a good part and a good director. Eventually, it became a good cast.”

    Tucker says he has been focusing on the standup comedy side of career, and acting is on the back of his mind.

    “I went back to the comedy clubs, because I wanted to go back to do standup and sharpen my craft, get back connected to my audience, with my fans.” It was necessary for him to get back to work, since he was having troubles with the IRS. He owed over $10 million in taxes, but he considers this a silver lining.

    “That helped me get back to standup, because that connected me back with my audience. Because they can relate to that, because they got their own problems.”

    While the IRS problem is no longer existent, Tucker is still performing at clubs, doing what he loves. While everyone is wondering, “where on Earth is Chris Tucker?” The truth is that he is exactly where he came from, doing what he’s always been doing. He was always a comedian first, actor second, and it seems as if that’s going to remain true.


  15. Just a reminder, Tucker will be turning 44 tomorrow since you forgot to include him on the upcoming events sidebar.


  16. Dave Chappelle, Chris Tucker, Eddie Griffin: Why did they disappear? Dave Chappelle, Chris Tucker, Eddie Griffin: Why did they disappear?

    They were all one trick ponies, and it gets stale fast when you don’t have the talent to pull it off for a long time and comedy gets stale, and they let themselves get typecast to quickly.

    I know he’s not black but look at Jim Carrey—he essentially is the same rubber face man doing the same bits in a crap-ton of movies, but because he could do it SO WELL he had the longevity the others couldn’t.

    “Loud obnoxious black man scream talking” gets tiring fast. Chris Tucker lasted the longest of the three, but that shrillness got old fast.

    That’s not to say they’re not capable of more, but lets face it…when a studio wants “angry black rage man” they call Samuel L Jackson, which has a greater appeal then “loud obnoxious black man scream talking and all kinds of high pitched”.

    Of the three you mentioned, I like Dave Chappelle the best but he is not a leading man, and is better writing IMHO.


  17. 10 Movie Sequels That Should Have Been Prequels

    Next Friday (2000)

    Although we’re used to seeing him in things like Ride Along and the Jump Street movies nowadays, Ice Cube and comedy weren’t words you were used to seeing in the same sentence when Friday came out back in 1995. Two decades later and the tale of Craig getting fired on his day off and Smokey trying to duck Big Worm after smoking all of his weed is as funny as it ever was, though the same cannot be said of the sequel, which was hard work even at the first time of watching.

    While Friday had an excess of attitude and energy, Next Friday was severely lacking in both, abandoning the dialogue-heavy approach for stale sub-plots that seemed to go absolutely nowhere. When Chris Tucker failed to sign up to reprise his role for the sequel (which is a red flag right at the get-go) Mike Epps was brought in to play funny to Ice Cube’s straight, but he just wasn’t Smokey.

    With Tucker out of the picture, Cube and his regular co-writer DJ Pooh should have opted to stay behind the camera and bring in some younger blood to portray teenage versions of Craig and Smokey. If spending the entire day on and around your porch in South Central Los Angeles can be so eventful, a day in high school must be off the charts.

    A prequel should have shown us Craig and Smokey on their first day of school and how the friendship that made the first film work so well was born. Both actors were in their early twenties when Friday came out and could have even chosen to appear as younger versions of their characters, seeing as most Hollywood high schools are filled with a bunch of 30-something extras anyway.


  18. “so he told Tucker to call actress Hu Li a “bitch”’

    i think you meant actress zhang ziyi. just wanted to let you know!


  19. 10 ‘Hilarious’ Movie Moments That Would Get Banned Now

    Tucker’s Oriental Omnishambles: Rush Hour

    Jackie Chan admitted a while back that, despite him signing up for three movies in the Rush Hour chop socky franchise, he didn’t have much of a clue as to what the actual joke was. Film historians may well look back with similar bafflement, as here you had a series starring a Hong Kong icon and a black comedian that nevertheless spent a lot of time being a tad racist.

    Chris Tucker (a generally underrated actor in my book) went full throttle in a performance best described as Prince possessed by the spirit of Inspector Clouseau. He was always the butt of the joke, leering misguidedly over attractive women and showing a standard American misunderstanding of mismatched partner Chan’s culture.

    The filmmakers were already on the naughty step for that, but when they wrote in a “funny” scene where Tucker accidentally punched Chan before admitting: “All ya’ll look alike!”…? Man, they were just asking for a tin opener and a family size can of whup ass…


  20. Zoolander 2 and Comedy Sequels: A Cautionary Tale

    A far different international man of mystery is the exception to my rule in terms of profitability. With two successful sequels (Rush Hour 2 and Shanghai Knights) well within the Three Year Rule during the late ‘90s-early 2000s, Jackie Chan cemented his status as a bankable leading man. The odd couple of Chan and Chris Tucker had little to prove after Brett Ratner’s Rush Hour opened at No.1 and went to be the seventh-highest grossing film of 1998. Then they simply went out and made a funnier, flashier sequel. Like most buddy cop films, the premise turned stale when the critically panned Rush Hour 3 dropped six years later. While Rush Hour 2 took in $347 million worldwide, Rush Hour 3, despite that 18 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, still brought home over $250 million.

    Chan himself knew Rush Hour had its place, telling the press that the Rush Hour films were his least favorite of his career, essentially a big fat paycheck, as he announced his retirement from martial arts films. Still, Ratner has openly discussed Chan potential to return for a fourth entry, while a television remake on CBS premieres in March. As for Chris Tucker, who made enough money on those films to essentially quit acting, well, we’ll always have his casino scene.


  21. 9 Terrible Casting Decisions That Ruined Great Movies

    Chris Tucker – The Fifth Element

    Luc Besson’s hyperactive sci-fi fantasy may not be everyone’s cup of tea – Gary Oldman himself has said he “can’t bear it” – but it’s a lot of fun if you surrender to the silliness. Unfortunately. the movie was also responsible for giving human airhorn Chris Tucker a star-making role, where he plays the unbearable talk show host Rudy Rhod.

    There’s little reason for the character to even be in the movie, other than Besson finding Tucker hilarious. Comedy is a pretty subjective thing, but Tucker’s incessant screeching in every single sequence quickly becomes unbearable. Rudy is a character who even divides die-hard fans of The Fifth Element; some love his wild energy and others claim he nearly spoils the whole thing.

    The character is clearly intended to be a little annoying, but Tucker goes above and beyond the call of duty here.


  22. 12 Biggest Movies You Can’t Remember Being Released


    The first two Rush Hour movies opened to great success amid the impending end of buddy cop movie genre. Keeping that in mind, it seems highly questionable to wait six years to return for a sequel. By the time Rush Hour 3 opened, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan’s star power had faded quite precipitously. Chan had not appeared in an American film in three years, while Tucker’s last film was Rush Hour 2. The end result was an under-performing and disappointing end to the series.

    Rush Hour 3 only grossed $258 million off a hefty $140 million budget, missing Rush Hour 2’s mark by nearly $100 million. It received terrible reviews, currently owning an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and was criticized for its lack of originality and fresh ideas that were present in its predecessors, settling for a run of the mill buddy cop film with little else to offer.


  23. Prince Was Almost In ‘The Fifth Element’ Before A Very Humorous Misunderstanding

    Prince’s cinematic record wasn’t the greatest (although it was very Princely), but he had the chance to star in The Fifth Element, which boasts a substantial cult following. Director Luc Besson originally hoped to cast the Purple One alongside Mel Gibson (in Bruce Willis’ role) and Julia Roberts (as Milla Jovovich’s iconic Leeloo) for a 1992 release, but funding issues delayed production. Prince was to play the flamboyant Ruby Rhod, who was embodied by fast-talking Chris Tucker when the film hit theaters in 1997.


  24. Chris Tucker on WatchMojo’s Top 10 Actors with Annoying Voices


  25. Chris Tucker Knocks Us The F*** Out With A ‘Last Friday’ Update

    It’s time we come to terms with the fact that if the Friday sequel, Last Friday, is happening, Chris Tucker will likely not be reprising his role as the fan favorite Smokey. It’s time we get that through our thick skulls and make peace with it because it’s only through being honest with ourselves that we can begin the healing process.

    The actor all but killed our dreams during a recent chat with Global Grind’s Xilla about putting on that iconic navy blue shirt, khakis and chucks one more time to indulge our love for all things ’90s. Rather than telling us, “No, goddammit! I’m 45 fcking years old! Get over this sht!,” Tucker gave a much classier response to whether he’s down for Last Friday.

    “That was a moment in time,” the aging actor explained after revealing he recently watched the 21-year-old film. “I was a young kid. I was laughing through the whole thing. I was proud of that, making myself laugh. I don’t know if I could do another one because I was so young and it was a moment in time. But we’ll see.”

    “We’ll see” nothing. On paper, it sounds like a good idea, but it’s really not. As Tucker pointed out, he was much younger than he is now when he did Friday. Last Friday would look ridiculous with a 45-year-old Tucker playing the same hilarious, weed-loving sidekick we all remember from ’95. Perhaps, Smokey can come back as a different character. Maybe as a father of a young knucklehead or something. But coming back as ’95 Smokey would be pretty stupid.

    Earlier this year, Ice Cube refuted claims that he was re-making the stoner classic featuring his doppleganger son O’Shea Jackson, Jr as the character Craig and Instagram star DC Young Fly as Smokey. But Cube is down for another Friday, telling Conan O’Brien last month, “I would love to make another Friday movie, but it’s kind of caught up in a lot of red tape.”

    Since its initial release, the movie’s original studio, New Line Cinema has merged with Time Warner, and Ice Cube doesn’t feel Time Warner gets the classic. “I don’t think Time Warner understands the value of Friday. I think they’re kind of corporate and not hearing that the people want another Friday.” Yeah, if done right!


  26. Chris Tucker Damn Near Died While Shooting Tupac’s ‘California Love’ Video


  27. From what I’ve read Chris Tucker did so many drugs that he had a stroke, and that has
    the main reason he longer makes films. Tragic.


    • Today’s Blind Items – The Stroke

      This actor used to be A list.

      Actually, if you include his franchise, which is all he really did, he was probably A+ list. Movies. On top of the world. Started spending money and doing drugs like crazy. He blew millions of dollars on women and booze and drugs and ended up having a stroke. A bad one. Drug related. The story has always been that he just didn’t want to act any longer. Nope. He couldn’t. He couldn’t remember lines and he had a speech issue and he had trouble with his physical movements. When he was all set to make a comeback in another installment of his franchise he did physical therapy for almost a year before they started shooting, but it just wasn’t quite the same. He looked OK, but his timing was off and he couldn’t do the same things he did before. He did get a huge paycheck though. Monstrous and blew a lot of it on drugs again and had another stroke. This time he vowed to never use drugs again and is slowly regaining his old form. He has a new woman in his life who also is his sober coach. Our actor is still really young, so hopefully he can get it all together and be back on top like he used to be.


    • That was an internet rumor. It was not true. Tucker found religion, but he did not suffer a stroke.


      • I found no evidence to support the stroke theory. It’s hard to disprove a negative, but I’ve read a lot on Tucker and have yet to find any evidence of a stroke from any credible source. Based on his screen personae, I think people make a lot of assumptions about his drug use that simply aren’t true.

        I think it’s pretty obvious Tucker did Rush Hour 3 for the money. His heart wasn’t in it. That’s not evidence of a stroke.


        • Maybe that was the aliment: Chris Tucker brought everything else, but left his heart behind. Seriously though, who would turn down that much money for material they could do on muscle memory? Not a bad gig for Chris Tucker.


      • Either way, what I think that we do know for sure about Chris Tucker is that the “Rush Hour” movies he started demanding more money for offers headed his way, but they weren’t proven series like “Rush Hour”. He also had issues with the IRS for not paying his taxes. During that time he went deep into religion, quit comedy, and basically went broke.

        Right now Chris’s comedy is very unpolished and he is basically considered “out of the game”. Really poor money management and overvaluing his talent made him lose all of his money.


      • Allegedly, he has difficulty reading scripts and pretty much coasted by on ad-libbing. Of course, I’m not sure if that was ever proven either way, but if you can’t read scripts and can only ad-lib, it would pretty difficult to get acting jobs in the long run.


  28. Re: Artists Who RUINED Their Careers In a Matter Of Seconds

    Not sure about a matter of seconds but Chris Tucker’s career didn’t really recover after The Fifth Element flopped and he passed on returning to the Friday franchise. He was stuck doing Rush Hour films and even those stopped being good.


  29. Jackie Chan Confirms Rush Hour 4 is Happening

    Jackie Chan confirms that Rush Hour 4 is moving forward again and that he hopes to begin filming with Chris Tucker sometime in 2018.


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