Ice Cube has revealed his belief that Mike Epps is a funnier comedic talent than Chris Tucker.
The West Coast legend made the declaration during an appearance on the FULL SEND podcast on Friday (May 19), suggesting that out of his two Friday costars, Epps is the superior “pure comic” over Tucker. “Mike, to me, is funnier, just as a pure comic.”
When the host praises Tucker’s performance in the first Friday film while discussing why he didn’t appear in the subsequent films in the franchise Cube argues that Tucker’s decision was a blessing in disguise. According to him, Epps wouldn’t have been cast in the role of Day-Day if not for Tucker’s absence. “Yeah, But I’m glad he didn’t do it” the rapper-turned-movie exec added. ‘Cause we wouldn’t have Mike.”
Cube also says that he lobbied hard for Tucker to reprise his role as Smokey in the Friday series, but that the actor declined an eight-figure offer to appear as Smokey due to “religious reasons.” “Yeah, we wanted him,” the former N.W.A. member confirms. “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,” he continued. “He didn’t wanna cuss and he didn’t wanna smoke weed on camera.”
Fans may not be able to re-experience Ice Cube and Chris Tucker’s creative chemistry given the latter’s refusal, but Cube is focused on filming the fourth and final installment in the Friday series, Last Friday. The rapper touched on the constraints he’s faced in getting the film off the ground and has even attempted to gain ownership over the project, to no avail.
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“Warner Brothers is weird right now,” Cube previously said of his relationship with the company. “I don’t know what they doing, they don’t know what they doing. We’d love to have it back. I think it’s gon’ be close to a time when we get it back. So, we’ll either wait for that time, or we’ll keep trying to convince them that they need to let us control the movie. It’s my movie, but they have distribution control.
He continued, adding that he refuses to pay for a creative concept and franchise he helped create and bring to prominence. “I ain’t putting sh*t up for it. F**k no,” Cube said. “They need to give it to me, and they gon’ make money. I’m not about to pay for my own stuff, that’s stupid … They need to do the right thing, get it to us, let us turn it into more money, and make the fans happy … We can do a lot with it.”
Watch Ice Cube’s FULL SEND podcast interview below.