Chris Tucker, who starred in the 1995 stoner comedy “,” is coughing up the real reason he refused to reprise his lead role as Smokey opposite Ice Cube in the flick’s follow-up films — and he’s not just blowing smoke.
“One of the reasons why I didn’t do [‘Friday’ sequel ‘Next Friday’] is because of the weed,” Tucker, 50, explained during a guest appearance on movie podcastMonday.
“Man, that movie became a phenomenon. I don’t want everybody smokin’ weed,” the stand-up comedian-turned-cinema hotshot added. “I never really told people this because I kinda forgot about it, but it was one of the reasons why I didn’t do it.”
“” — which was co-written by Ice Cube, nèe O’Shea Jackson, 52 — follows broke best friends Craig (played by Ice Cube) and Tucker’s character Smokey, a small-time marijuana dealer, whose weed-smoking habits land them in hot water with a neighborhood drug kingpin.
It’s been widely speculated that Tucker passed on starring in the blockbuster hit’s continuations due to.
But now, Tucker — who was replaced by comedian Mike Epps, 50, in sequels “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next” — has made it clear that the franchise’s marijuana-driven storyline clashed with his moral compass.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to represent everyone smoking weed,’ ” he revealed. “I kinda made it more personal than a movie, and that’s one of the reasons I said, ‘Nah, I don’t want to keep doing that character.’ ”
Despite his abrupt departure from the cannabis-centric trilogy, the “” humorist is happy the decision led him to greener pastures.
“It probably was good for me, because it kept me moving to the next phase . . . the next movies,” he said,of his other projects.
In January, Tucker said that he would likely opt out of resuming his role as Smokey in Ice Cube’s forthcoming fourth installation of the “Friday” franchise, titled “Last Friday” and set to debut in 2022.