As a fan of his work since “Friday,” I have to say it was cool to be able to ask him some questions during the roundtable interview. And for someone who has chosen to avoid making movies these past few years, he came across like he might actually be starting up his movie career again, as he said he wanted to make a stand up comedy movie and a film called “Mr. President.” If you’re a fan of Chris you’ll definitely enjoy hearing what he had to say. And while I usually post a synopsis of a movie at the beginning of an interview, I think you all know what “Rush Hour” is about. As always, you can either read the transcript below or listen to the interview as an MP3 by clicking here.
, I just don’t have the time this week to transcribe them. So if you’d like to hear them speak on the film and what other projects they have coming up, just click on their names for the MP3 of the interview.
As a fan of his work since “Friday,” I have to say it was cool to be able to ask him some questions during the roundtable interview. And for someone who has chosen to avoid making movies these past few years, he came across like he might actually be starting up his movie career again, as he said he wanted to make a stand up comedy movie and a film called “Mr. President.”
If you’re a fan of Chris you’ll definitely enjoy hearing what he had to say. And while I usually post a synopsis of a movie at the beginning of an interview, I think you all know what “Rush Hour” is about.
As always, you can either read the transcript below or listen to the interview as an MP3 by clicking here.
“Rush Hour 3” opens this Friday at theaters everywhere.
Q: So Mr. Hughes, what does it feel like to come back?
Chris Tucker: You know it feels good.
Q: Why were you so picky and why did it take you so long?
You know, a lot of things just came my way that really didn’t spark my interest, so I decided to step back and travel the world. And during my travels a lot of things I got involved in like in Africa, y’know, going on a lot of great trips because people knew who I was, because my celebrity and fame. Going on trips with Bono, Clinton, Colin Powell and went to Oprah Winfrey’s thing of course and it just made me realize that it’s a big world out there. Going to places in
Y’know, I used to brush my teeth with Evian water and Figi water because I don’t want to use the sink water and I don’t do that anymore, because I have seen these things and going to Ethiopia, seeing a room full of infants, babies and some of them blind and most of ‘em was crying and I said, ‘What can I do? This problem is just to big.’ And I remember what one of the nuns said – it was two nuns took care of all these young babies and she used to work under Mother Theresa and she said, that Mother Theresa said, ‘Every raindrop creates an ocean.’ And I interpret what she meant by that, she meant that if everybody just took their part then this problem wouldn’t be so big. We could solve a lot of these issues in the world. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been doing that long before it’s been popular in
Q: So, your priorities have changed?
Yeah, I didn’t know. I just decided to step back and I think when you step back you open yourself up to a whole other world. And now I have these great friends like Clinton and the King of Jordan and all these great people who I would have never encountered if I had just been for myself. If I wanted to make as much movies as I can and all the money in the world, I wouldn’t have this great life, because I found out that I get more out of people in
Q: Do you need humor to deal with some of those tragic situations?
Definitely, definitely. Humor and love, because every time I see a kid smile because he’s seen my movie, because these movies travel all over the world, that makes me feel good inside. And I just think that’s natural healing and it makes them feel good because it’s like, ‘Look at this guy, I’ve only seen him on film and now he’s all the way over here.’ It’s like a real spiritual moment and comedy is the same way, because that’s a natural healing, if medicine can heal you then surely music when you hear something good, it changes your mood, then truly laughter and all that stuff is even a greater healing.
Q: So why now?
I didn’t know. I think the timing is great, because this summer all these part three’s are doing great and I guess the timing is just great. It wasn’t planned. But what convinced me was the script, it took awhile to get it together because we never planned on doing a part two or three. I said something in part two which was a blooper outtake that the studio heard and they said, ‘Well, let’s do another one’ because it made a lot of money. And they figured it would make some more money. I said something in an outtake. A guy fell out of a hotel in Vegas, the hotel building and I said, ‘That guy isn’t going to be in ‘Rush Hour 3’,’ and the studio heard it and then the fans heard it. ‘Maybe another Rush Hour is coming?’ So everybody thought we were doing another ‘Rush Hour,’ but it was never planned. So studio came and said, ‘Let’s do another ‘Rush Hour’!’ And I said, ‘O.K., what are we going to do? Where are we going to go? How are these characters going to get together?’ I was involved with this process because I said, ‘They gotta be believable how we get back together,’ because in the last movie we both went on to New York, but it’s been too long a time since New York, so we said that won’t be realistic because we both got older.
I got older and
Q: Do you think humor and getting people to poke fun at it is a great way to get people to say, ‘Yeah, it is kind of stupid.’
Yes. Exactly, because the French to me are not arrogant, Americans think everyone should speak English and the French say that if you’re in
Q: One of the running gags has been how Carter constantly gets on Lee’s nerves. If you met someone like Carter, how long would it be until you just went crazy?
Carter is sort of a person who is kind of out there. He likes to have fun. He as used to working by himself, but now he’s used to working with
Q: Well, he also speaks Jewish now because in the outtakes of ‘Rush Hour 2’ you couldn’t get gefilte fish. Have you been practicing?
That’s right. Shalom. Oh, yeah. Yeah, Brett helps me out because he’s Jewish, so I practiced a little bit. I tell him sometimes I’m half Jewish too. My name is Chris Tuckenberg. (Laughs.)
Q: How has the relationship between you and
It’s great, it’s great. Because the first movie we really didn’t understand each other. Just like
Q: Are you going to be taking another long break from filming movies or is there another project out there you might do relatively soon?
No, I wanna work. I wanna work. And I don’t plan on taking a long break because there are a lot of things I wanna do. One of the things I wanna do is I wanna do a stand up comedy movie, because a lot of my fans haven’t seen my stand up and don’t know that I came from a stand up background. I wanna do like Eddie Murphy did with ‘Raw’ and ‘Richard Prior Live In Long Beach’ and ‘Live on the Sunset Strip’ and I just want to get that done, because every comedian wants to do that and get that out there. And also, I’ve got another project that I’ve been working on, that I’ve been working on for a couple of years now called ‘Mr. President.’ I’ll be playing the first black president in a comedy and since the election is coming up I thought it would be fun and I poke a lot of humor at a lot of things in that movie.
Q: What about ‘Rush Hour 4’?
‘Rush Hour 4’? If the fans want to see another one. If the fans want to see we always have to think about it and work on a script and make it even better than this one if we can do it.
Q: Not in five years though.
Not in five years. No, because
Q: You’re gonna do one yourself?
Just in case. I’m gonna write it just in case and I’ll have a script all ready and get it to the studio. As soon as they start talking about ‘Do you want to do ‘Rush Hour 4’?’ ‘What about that one?’ (Laughs.)
Q: With the project ‘Mr. President’ and this stand up, do you have any sort of director attached or timeframe for these projects?
Uh, with the stand up? Yeah, well we’re talking to Brett about directing the stand up movie and I am gonna go on tour late September, all of October, right after the movie comes out I want to jump on the road and tour a little bit.
Q: So, the stand up movie would follow you everywhere?
Yeah, it will be behind-the-scenes, but mainly be my live stand up on stage and I have a lot of behind-the-scenes too, and I want to do a little something different, maybe film some scenes for the movie, but a couple surprise stuff.
Q: Are there any superhero roles you’d like to take a crack at?
Yeah, I’ve looked at a couple. I’ve been thinking about Flash maybe or Green Lantern, I heard he was black, so maybe Green Lantern or somethin’, I dunno. Something fun.
Q: Do you mind if I ask where the bracelet is from?
Well the bracelet is from a really good friend of mine who died of leukemia. She was like a sister and I met her through her family, through her father and her brother and her mother and we’re actually dedicating the movie to her. It’s Britianna Henderson. She came to the set a few times, right before she passed this year. And so, I just keep it on in remembrance, but this movie is definitely dedicated to her because she always loved the ‘Rush Hours’
Q: How was the language barrier? Did you learn any French?
Oui, parlez vous, oui, oui…(Laughs.) I tried. I tried. It’s hard. I’m still learning English, so I’m trying to get that down first, but the coach was good especially when you stay at the George Saint Hotel. They treat you like heaven there. It was great. I had no problem, but the French love to say no. I was late to get on my plane at the airport and they love to say no. ‘Non, non. It’s not possible. Non. I cannot do it, it is impossible! Non, non!’ (Laughs.)
Q: What will your stand up routine be about?
I would love to talk about working with
Q: How did fatherhood change you?
Fatherhood? Fatherhood changed me in a way like, you, it take awhile to realize you’re a father, it’s like, ‘I’m a father. Somebody’s depending on me.’ So, it’s like, it’s different, but it changed me in a good way because it opens you up and it really opens up a different side of you and you have to, you really have somebody depending on you. Be more cautious and also, you know, being famous, I took it as a responsibility, because I didn’t want to lead kids down the wrong way and give out the wrong advice, because people really do look up to you and say, ‘Well, if he does it, it’s OK.’ And you gotta take that into consideration. Kids are watching and even adults. They like you enough they say, “Well, he’s an alcoholic, I can drink too. That’s cool.’ You don’t want to put out bad things.
Q: Does your son want to be a comedian like you?
Um, I dunno. I think he might want to do it, he’s in this movie. He’s in the Karate scene. You might have seen him. He’s the only black kid in it. (Laughs.) With the pretty smile, so he might want to do it now that he’s got the bug. We’ll see after tonight, I think he’s gonna have the bug.
Q: Where do you see your career going?
I think more developing and producing and directing, because like I said, I’m involved with the script and a lot of people don’t know how I look at it and I say, ‘Let’s make this work like this. Let’s go to
Q: What do you think would be the weirdest country for Carter and Lee to end up in?
Q: What’s the most amazing thing that you’ve seen
Oh, man, I have seen him do crazy, crazy stuff. Jumping and swinging and…y’know, I like the way he has a vision about something. He’ do a shot, cut, cut, cut, cut – he knows all the shots and he’ll do them all and you’ll see them all cut together and you’ll go, ‘Whoa. That’s sweet.’ Because you didn’t expect it, you didn’t know where it was going. I like his vision.
Q: Would you ever do another ‘Friday’? Ice Cube always says he wants you.
I know, you know what, everybody wants me to do another one, but I always like to leave movies. Y’know, do a good job and y’know people really like it and I think that movie is like a cult classic and I don’t ever want to mess it up, so I’m gonna leave it alone because, especially now, I want to keep moving on and doing something different. ‘Rush Hour’ is different because it’s action/comedy and those type of movies you can keep doing them in different locations, but ‘Friday’ is sort of a special move because we filmed in 20 days. It took us 20 days to film, that’s no time and a million, $2 million. Low budget, considered a low budget movie and it was independent and New Line picked it up. So all we had, we had this one street. And all we had was to try and make something funny on this one street and all this stuff, so I think for me, I probably wont’ do another one, but they have done two or three more, but I dunno. I don’t think I’ll do another one, no.
Q: Any interest in a romantic lead or drama?
Yeah, I want to do it all, because I think my fans haven’t seen other sides of me or other sides of me. They’ve seen me do ‘Dead Presidents,’ which [was] a smaller part – the Hughes Bros., ‘Fifth Element’ – spaced out character, so I’ve got a lot of range. And action, drama, action/comedy, a lot of comedians can’t do all that, they don’t have that much range, so I can pretty much do it all, so I’m ready to do it.
Q: What about writing and directing?
Yeah, writing and directing. I want to do that because I feel like I’m already sort of doing the writing and sort of pitching in ideas. Directing would be something I could do too, but with the right people around me, because it’s a lot of responsibility.
Q: Luc Besson said he’s working on a new Sci-Fi trilogy. Would you consider working with him again?
Oh yeah, I’ve been trying to work with him.
Q: You’re worked with Luc and Brett and it’s just them for a while. I figure if it’s not going to be Brett, than maybe Luc.
Oh yeah, Luc was somebody who I felt was a great director, because he created that character and knew what he wanted and he directed me and got the best out of me and what he wanted, so I really enjoyed working with him and I like creating a relationship with a director, but there are a lot of great directors out there who I would love to work with. New, up and coming directors, established directors like Steven Spielberg, I’m always bugging him like ‘What you got coming out?’ (Laughs.)
Q: What did you think the whole brotherhood theme added to the movie?
I think it added that we definitely – we really cared about each other, because we really grew on each other. So, I think that made people say, ‘Oooh, they really like each other.’ It was a bond that we had that sort of just happened and we realized it when we were separated. And I think the audience, they felt that.
Q: Doing some more traveling?
Yeah, I definitely want to keep traveling and hopefully making movies and traveling at the same time. Making movies and being somewhere on the other side of the world. I think that would be fun.