July 2001
An interview with Chris Tucker
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By Niambi Sims

Interview with Chris Tucker

In the sequel to the mega hit, Rush Hour, Chris Tucker takes us on a comedic joyride from Vegas to Hong Kong and back again and.... he even does his own stunts!! The funny man tells blackfilm.com what it was like the second time around.

 

 

Do people always expect you to be funny because you are a comedian?

CT:  Itís crazy because people expect you to be funny all the time and every day is not a funny day. I go to funerals and people are like ďtell a jokeĒ and ďsay one of your lines in a movie.Ē  ITíS A FUNERAL MAN!


How was it working with Jackie Chan? Are you able to do any of those things?

CT:  Oh yeah, I was a martial artist way before Jackie Chan.  Iím young but see in my past life I was practicing.  NO Iím just playing. I was very physical. I did a lot of sports and stuff and Jackie taught me a lot of his moves.  But it wasnít that hard because I was already in shape.


How many days did you shoot in Asia?

CT: We shot in Asia for like a month and a half


What did you do there?

CT: Aw man we went on the boats, the harbor in Hong Kong.  I jogged around the little pier. We worked a lot so work took us to the market place, the old town.  I wanted to go to the mountain but I didnít get a chance to go see the big Buddha.


Did people recognize you?

CT: They recognized me a little bit when I was on the set.  The only black man in China so they must have thought I was important.


Did Jackie take you to some of his places?

CT: Oh yeah, I went to his shops and stuff. I have on a suit that he made for me. I went to his restaurant. We went around everywhere. Heís like the emperor there. Heís the last emperor.


How would you compare Hong Kong to Las Vegas?

CT: You know what... beautiful buildings.  Both of them have big beautiful buildings that are unique.  The buildings in HK are like youíve never seen before. In Vegas youíve got these dream hotels that you never see anywhere at all but on this one little strip. Both of them have beautiful hotels.  


Were you ever in actual danger anytime during the shoot?

CT: Not that I know about.


Do you do all your own stunts?

CT: Oh I do all my own stunts and sometimes I do some of Jackieís stunts because, between you and me, Jackieís getting a little old.  Rush Hour three, I donít know if heís going to be in it. NO, Jackieís amazing. When he does all of his stuff it makes you want to do your own stuff even if itís dangerous.  I see him hanging on something I know itís safe to do because I KNOW his people.  Heís got it safe so I KNOW he inspired me.


How did you feel when you got the offer to do another Rush Hour?

CT: Since the first movie went over very well. It was international. I knew I would do it again I just didnít know it would be this soon. I waited longer than they wanted me to. I was the one holding everything up because I wanted to make sure people really wanted another Rush Hour.


He (Jackie Chan) says you Ďre #1.

CT: He did? You know why because the first time we got together he didnít really know how it was going to turn out and once we started doing it, he started loving it.  It was perfect for the part but now this one is so much better and more fun because we know each other and we are buddies now instead of being two different guys from two different worlds. Now were together and were partners so itís on a whole other level. Itís like a whole new movie.


What is the secret to good comedy?

CT:  Good timing. Jackie Chan is one of the funniest guys in the world because he has good timing and thatís rare. He knows physical comedy. What we do is so different but it comes together as one and itís good chemistry.


Did you follow the script or improvise more?

CT: We followed the script but the way me and Jackie work is all feeling like ďwe should do this we should do thatĒ and it comes out pretty good. The script is just a guideline so the story makes sense but the stuff that takes it to another level; the funny stuff comes from the actors.


This doesnít scare the director?

CT:  Brad is real good with improvising. Heís used to the way I work. Heís like ďriff on this but I need to get thisĒ We worked together on Money Talks and Rush Hour so heís got me down pat.


How about some of your previous directors?

CT:  Iíve been fortunate to work with good directors who understand improvisation and understand the way comedians work.  Luke Basan let me do my thing like do what you feel and take the character to another level. Quentin Tarrantino was more of an acting coach. He can teach you beats and then heíll say go with it but give this feeling. So Iíve been fortunate to work with good, seasoned directors.


What are you planning to do next?

CT: Iíve got a lot of stuff on the table. Iím doing a stand up comedy movie coming out around Christmas. Iím doing a movie called Mr. President where I play the President of the United States. There are many others but Iím gearing up for those two


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