He’s sifting through the rumor mill.
Chris Tucker, who played opposite Ice Cube in the 1995 stoner comedy “Friday,” has revealed the actual reason he refused to reprise his major role as Smokey in the film’s sequels — and it’s not because he’s a liar.
“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 a movie podcast “Flix Talk” Monday.
“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.”
Ice Cube, nèe O’Shea Jackson, 52, co-wrote “Friday,” which follows broke best friends Craig (played by Ice Cube) and Tucker’s character Smokey, a small-time marijuana dealer, whose weed-smoking habits find them in deep water with a neighborhood drug kingpin.
Tucker reportedly declined to reprise his role in the blockbuster hit’s sequels owing to a feud with Cube over money.
But now, Tucker — who was replaced in the sequels “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next” by comic Mike Epps, 50 — has stated that the franchise’s marijuana-centered 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 quick exit from the cannabis-centric trilogy, the “Rush Hour” comedian is grateful for the opportunity.
“It was certainly beneficial to me since it kept me going on to the next phase.”
“It probably was good for me, because it kept me moving to the next phase. . . the next movies,” he remarked, citing the popularity of his previous ventures.
Tucker stated in January that he will most likely decline to reprise his part as Smokey in Ice Cube’s upcoming fourth installment of the “Friday” trilogy, titled “Last Friday,” which is planned to premiere in 2022.