From his debut role in Friday to the erupting Rush Hour Franchise, Chris was the big thing in the 1990s.
However, since 2010, the comedian has only appeared in two movies.
This is a peculiar stride for a man who ranked among the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.
Whatever happened to Chris Tucker?
Tucker began his career in his native Atlanta as a stand-up comedian. When he was 19, he moved to Los Angeles with the money he made from his stand-up gigs.
The comedian would do most of his work in the Comedy Store, including a spot on Def Comedy Jam.
Eventually, Chris caught the attention of comedian and film star Ice Cube. Ice Cube cast him as comedic sidekick Smokey on Friday (1995). The movie was an instant success, and Chris Tucker became a star before he turned 21!
From there, the comedian continued to hit big. He took on comedic roles in other hip-hop films such as Dead Presidents (1995) and Money Talks (1997). In 1998, he starred opposite Jackie Chan in Rush Hour.
The film launched one of Hollywood history’s most famous movie franchises. The Rush Hour films grossed over $240 million worldwide and made Chris one of the highest-paid actors in Tinsel Town!
Consequently, Tucker received $20 and $25 million from Rush Hour 2 and 3. This ranked him as the highest-paid actor in 2006! At this time, he was on top of the world, and his downfall had many people wondering what had happened.
Recommended: Rush Hour 4: Everything We Know So Far
Why Doesn’t Chris Tucker do Movies Anymore
Chris Tucker doesn’t do movies anymore because he turned down many movie roles. Ultimately, he lost a lot of money, and his name depreciated all over Hollywood.
In 2001, Chris turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix. This was one of Hollywood’s most lucrative roles, and Chris passed on it! Afterward, he told reporters that he didn’t understand The Matrix or what made it special. Additionally, Tucker claimed he would not do well with all the “green screen” effects (visuals added later). This is a significant factor considering the movie’s success!
Chris also turned down roles in Barbershop and The Italian Job. He was initially offered $20 million for Barbershop, but he walked away from it. Similarly, Tucker didn’t accept offers for Charlie’s Angels or Mr. & Mrs. Smith because he wanted to be paid more than $20 million.
Chris Tucker’s last movie was Rush Hour, made in 2007. Soon afterward, the comedian went on a hiatus from acting and released his first album only four years later! According to sources close to Chris, he is not going back into movies because of bad memories of turning down roles. He also doesn’t want to be typecast as a comedian and prefers to pursue his music career.
What Chris Tucker Said
Tucker himself has a different view. He stopped appearing on the big and small screen to refocus on his stand-up comedian gig. In a 2017 interview with AZCentral, Tucker said:
I started as a stand-up and then my movie career took off so fast, I kind of put it on the back burner. But it’s on the front burner again. It’s a priority. I never stopped doing it; I just didn’t focus on it so much. But it is something you have to work at. I have way more life experiences than I did when I was a teenager. I have a lot more material. I think I’m a whole other person than when I was a kid doing ‘Def Comedy Jam.’… I love making movies, but I have been working doing my stand-up. I’m working one way or the other.
Chris Tucker and Christianity
Another common rumor about why you don’t see the actor in the mainstream is that he found Christianity.
Some believe that the actor became born again and refocused his energies on religion. Accordingly, his faith affects his choice of words and roles in films. This might be the reason why he stuck with stand-up since he can control the material.
Well, there you have it, folks. You might not be seeing Chris Tucker on the screen any time soon. But, you must admit that you enjoyed his every performance when it existed!