*Ice Cube believes Mike Epps is a funnier comedian than his “Friday” co-star Chris Tucker.
“Mike, to me, is funnier, just as a pure comic,” the rapper-turned-actor said on the FULL SEND podcast on Friday (May 19), Vibe reports.
Cube went on to say that Epps would not have been cast in the role of Day-Day in “Friday” had Tucker reprised his role in the comedy franchise. Ice Cube said Tucker declined an eight-figure offer to appear as Smokey due to “religious reasons.”
“Yeah, But I’m glad he didn’t do it” Cube added. ‘Cause we wouldn’t have Mike.”
“Yeah, we wanted him,” Cube said about Tucker on the podcast. “He turned it down. You’ll hear 1,000 different stories but we wanted to pay him $12 million to do that movie and he turned it down. He said it was for religious reasons.”
Ice Cube continued, “He didn’t wanna cuss and he didn’t wanna smoke weed on camera.”
This is not the first time Cube confirmed that Tucker refused to appear in the two sequels: 2000’s “Next Friday” and 2002’s “Friday After Next” because of “religious reasons.”
“We were ready to pay Chris Tucker $10-12m to do Next Friday but he turned us down for religious reasons. He didn’t want to cuss or smoke weed on camera anymore,” Ice Cube tweeted in 2021 when someone asked whether Tucker “quit over money” reasons.
Tucker previously explained why he has no interest in reprising the role of Smokey.
“It probably was good for me because it kept me moving to the next phase and next movies,” Tucker said in an interview with All Urban Central. “Back then, I gotta tell you, one of the reasons why I didn’t do the second one was because of the weed,” Tucker added.
“Because I said, man, that movie became a phenomenon. I don’t want everybody smoking weed and I never really told people this because I kind of forgot about it, but it was one of the reasons why I didn’t do it. Because I said, ‘I don’t wanna represent everybody smoking weed.’ “
“And that’s one of the reasons why I said ‘Nah,’ ” the “Rush Hour” star continued. “I didn’t wanna keep doing that character. It probably was good for me because it kept me moving to the next phase and next movies.”
Tucker added, “I never thought about doing sequels. I always wanted to do a good job, and keep moving to the next movie.”
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