Chris Tucker Remembers Late ‘Friday’ Co-Stars Who Helped Shape Iconic Film: ‘So Many Legends That Was In This Movie That Passed Away’
Chris Tucker is back, and he’s taking some time from his busy schedule to break down some of his most iconic roles!
During a recent interview, the Friday star reflected on the actors from the legendary 1995 Black cult classic who are no longer with us.
As his first “co-starring role,” Chris Tucker referred to the movie as a chance to prove to others that he could carry a film. While working with director Gary Gray was great, his co-stars contributed to the lasting impact of his Smokey character.
“And the cast, with everybody… Tiny Zeus Lister, I don’t know if I mentioned him when he passed away. One of my good friends, the legendary Tiny Zeus Lister, who played Deebo. Casting him as like, the big villain coming like the shark from Jaws.”
As previously reported, Tommy “Tiny” Lister was pronounced dead on Dec. 10, 2020. It was later revealed that he passed away from hypertension and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Chris Tucker continued,
“The legendary iconic John Witherspoon, and Bernie Mac. Those guys, comedy legends and gods, man. You had Reynaldo Rey, and Yvette Wilson. So many legends that was in this movie that passed away. I’m so, so honored to have worked with them.”
John Witherspoon, Reynaldo Rey, Yvette Wilson, and Bernie Mac passed away in 2019, 2015, 2012, and 2008, respectively. Anthony Johnson, the actor who played Ezal in the movie, also passed away in 2021 from multi-system organ failure.
Ben Affleck‘s Air marked Tucker‘s eagerly awaited comeback to the big screen. Prior to this, he most recently appeared in Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and Long Halftime Walk (2016). And while he has been notoriously anti-sequel — failing to return to 2000’s Next Friday — he did appear in the original Rush Hour and its two sequels with Jackie Chan.
“I was looking at it as an artist, like let me move on to the next thing and do that just as good.”
While he’s ready to get back into his entertainment industry bag, Tucker believes there’s more to life than a dollar sign. As previously reported, while explaining his hiatus from Hollywood, Tucker shared:
“The way I kind of stepped back from Hollywood at one point, you know, being the highest paid actor in Hollywood. But I felt like, you know, it was a ceiling right there and I wanted more. It wasn’t enough. So I stepped back and lived a little bit, traveled the world, and did a lot of humanitarian stuff that really broadened my perspective on the world.”
Tucker reportedly earned $15,000 for his role in Friday, but went on to make around $48 million for his part in the Rush Hour franchise. He continued and expressed that he wants his purpose to be more than just a character on a screen.
“That, you know, it ain’t just about me being the biggest comic actor in the world, it’s about becoming somebody to give to the world – inspire in some kind of way, hopefully. I like that I did that.”
Fans who have missed seeing Tucker on their screens will be happy to know that he probably won’t be taking another break any time soon, as there is reportedly a fourth Rush Hour installment in the works.
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