Ice Cube’s Friday franchise started off as a small film that evolved into a cultural phenomenon. Chris Tucker portrayed Smokey and was compensated $10,000 for the role.

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“It’s one of those things —it was just a small movie. We filmed it in 20 days. I got about $10,000 for it or whatever, I didn’t care. I wanted the opportunity,” he told Shannon Sharpe on his Club Shay Shay podcast.

Tucker added that the film’s budget was only $3 million so the funds were low. Ultimately, he’s grateful to be apart of an iconic movie that is a staple in Black culture.


“It was that small of a movie, but that was the beauty of it. It allowed me to get into character. It wasn’t no big distractions like big movie sets. You got light people and sound people and everybody wanna be a star. But that movie was just a camera and me and Cube on the porch. Magic came out of it, thank God.”

Friday was released in 1995 and grossed $28 million worldwide. It was followed up by Next Friday five years later, then Friday After Next in 2002. Chris Tucker went on to star in the Rush Hour after the first Friday installment.

The late John Witherspoon, who also stars in the franchise, says he got paid $5,000 for his role in the film. But he got more for the second film.

Ice Cube said he’s going “back to the drawing board” after New Line Cinema delayed the approval of the script and Witherspoon tragically passed away.

Stay tuned for updates on Last Friday.

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