Shannon Sharpe:

Rush Hour! Why? And did you know it was gonna be what ‘they’ became?

Chris Tucker:

Uh, no! It was the same thing when I did Fridays. I did the First Rush Hour I never wanted to do a another one, because that was just like, I never felt like that I was, like just do a great job with this one and move on and do another great job for another movie. Uh, but you know, like I said, they all I didn’t have nothing on the table at the time when they offered me another one for the Rush Hour 2. And uh, then I said all right I’ll just do it I don’t have nothing at that time. And we did it and we had fun with that one. And uh with the the third one. Uh, you know same thing that happened. But no, I didn’t know it was going to be franchise. And I appreciate it and I’m glad that it had enough legs to go, you know, last like that, but uh, yeah, I didn’t know.

Shannon Sharpe:

So, because that was really like, the first time you, like you could be you, you can still be funny. But you had a more of a drama, you were actually like a detective, you’re like, James Carter was actually trying to catch somebody.

Chris Tucker:

Yeah, yeah!

And that was like a movie that I grew up watching, Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop,  48 Hours, so little things that I always dreamed of. Like man, I got to get to that level. You know, one day, you know like, like like my hero’s, childhood heroes, Richard Pryor and his movies and stuff.

Shannon Sharpe:

So yeah. What type of physical shape do you need to be in to do those type of movies? Did you do any of your own stunts? Do you like doing your own stunts?

Chris Tucker:

I did all of my stunts in the first Rush Hour. I made sure I got in shape because I knew that you know Jackie Chan did his own stunts by watching, you know researching him and watching, that you know him saying, “I do my own stunts.” So I made sure I got in shape. And for the second one, I made sure I got even more better shape. Because work you know, action movies, it’s a lot, it’s a lot, it’s a lot. You going to set, you might be there all day because they’re going to need you to fall or jump off something, and this, that, that…So it takes action movies, you need to be in shape and you’re working in the middle of the night sometimes, uh early in the morning, so you want to be healthy enough to be able to have that energy. That you know, you come across on the screen and physical uh stuff, you need to uh, do you know to make the scene work.

Shannon Sharpe:

How did you get paired with Jackie Chan in Rush Hour. And I read, what Jackie Chan says, like when he first met you, he wasn’t so sure about y’all.

Chris Tucker:

Yeah because it was it was uh well I was doing movies with with New Line Cinema. And Jackie, I think they bought a lot of his movies uh. New Line bought a lot of his movies that he did overseas, in you know, in China, in Hong Kong. And they had a relationship with him, and then they had relationship from ‘Fridays’ and ‘Money Talks’ with me. And we, me and my manager at the time, he was looking for something bigger, and seeing what the studio had. And they said ‘well uh, we want to partner up with somebody else’, he said ‘we got Jackie Chan’s, got a project and’. ‘But somebody they’re looking at, somebody else, I think it was Wesley Snipes, Martin Lawrence, and a few other people. And they said they’re looking at other people, but maybe, maybe you know, he might, it might work. So we, uh went after it, tried to get this script, the Rush Hour script, and and do the movie with Jackie. And uh, it came together, uh, because, uh the one of the producers wanted me in the movie, they wanted somebody with a fresh face, just like in Fridays they wanted a fresh face. Somebody who wasn’t already established. Uh and I got the role, I got the part with uh Rush Hour because we had a history with New Line and Jackie was working with them and they put us together. So that’s how that happened.

Shannon Sharpe:

Did you know the magic that you guys would create, did you know it would be this when you two guys got together?

Chris Tucker:

I felt it because I was comfortable, I was comfortable around Jackie because he was humble. You know, he still is. Great great, guy great man! And uh, of course I you know, he was a hero of mine because you know, jack Chan is cool. But uh, I knew that I could say whatever I want to say around him. And we had good chemistry. And from the start. You know, uh, and so I think out of that, you know, great things happen.

Shannon Sharpe:

In 2006 you negotiated a contract 25 million dollars for Rush Hour. You the first, I think, if I’m not mistaking, the correct to crack that threshold. Did it add pressure on being the highest paid actor at the time in entertainment? What was going through your mind? Here’s a black kid from Atlanta, Georgia, former stand-up, and now I’m the highest paid? I didn’t go to Juilliard. I didn’t go to one of these prominent acting schools. Ain’t go to Yale, or this, or that. But here it is, a black a black kid from Atlanta. I’m a black man, now and I’m the highest paid in the world.

Chris Tucker:

Yeah, you know, I didn’t think of it. Man I was, so you know, I was so like back then, I said after the success of the first Rush Hour. I said, well my movie made over 100 some million dollars. Tom Cruise movie made over 100 something. He’s getting 20 million. I said, I need to get 20 million. So I just went in there and told the studio. I said, well you know, if y’all want to do another one. I want 20 million and they said. Okay. Because they knew, that it was going to make a whole bunch of money. And I, and I, and I um, I felt like I was worth that. Because I knew this, I knew the movie was gonna make some more money too. And I just was, I guess that’s the business side of me, that said, go ahead and ask for it. This is the time to ask for it.

Shannon Sharpe:

And then, do you wish you were throwing out a high number? [Laughter]

Chris Tucker:

No, no, because uh, it worked out, it worked out,

Shannon Sharpe:

Uh hold on, did Eddie Murphy turn this movie down?

Chris Tucker:

No Eddie was never attached to uh, Rush Hours, you know… It was on, I think Martin, they was considering Martin and Wesley, but uh, yeah that was the only thing I heard, but Eddie, I don’t think he was ever involved.




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