Chris Tucker Returns to the Big Screen After a 6 Year Absence in Rush Hour 3

Chris Tucker Talks Rush Hour 3

Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in Rush Hour 3. © New Line Cinema

Rush Hour 3 reunites the crime-fighting duo of Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) and Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) for more adventures and high-powered stunts. In this third and probably not final film of the Rush Hour franchise, the fearless twosome head off to Paris to take on the Chinese crime syndicate, the Triads.

Chris Tucker and His Relationship with Jackie Chan: It’s evolved over the years since the first Rush Hour film back in 1998.

“It’s great, it’s great,” said Tucker. “Because the first movie we really didn’t understand each other. Just like Jackie may have told you, we met in a meeting, because we had to meet with him so he could meet me and agree to do Rush Hour. He didn’t know who I was because I was an up-and-coming comedian. He knew who Eddie Murphy was, people like that. But I was talking to him the whole meeting, but he didn’t say anything. I didn’t know if he spoke English or not so I asked Brett [Ratner], ‘Does he speak English? Because he’s not talking.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry. He’ll learn English by the time we start filming.’ I said, ‘I can’t be funny if he don’t speak English.’ He said, ‘I’m just joking, he speaks English – that’s his culture. He’s just feeling you out.’ I said, ‘All right, I’m in. Whatever.’ So I took that to the movie.

I didn’t see him until we started filming after that, because he agreed and we went to the set and that’s how I came up with, ‘Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?’ I just played the movie like real life and that’s how our friendship is.

Just like the first movie, he was a fish out of water in America. Second movie, I’m a fish out of water in Hong Kong. We actually went to Hong Kong for the first movie premiere and we did the karaoke in real life at night. I was doing Michael Jackson all night and Brett said, ‘Let’s put that in the movie if we do a part two.’ We put it in the movie.

In this movie we’re both fish out of water’s in Europe and Paris. We were brothers in this movie. And, of course, we get in a little argument but then we make up. It’s like real life. I went and surprised him right before I signed on to do Rush Hour 3. I just went to Hong Kong, flew out there on my own. I called him from the airport and said, ‘Jackie, I’m in Hong Kong.’ He said, ‘You in Hong Kong! We hang out tonight! I come get you!’ (Laughing) You know, it’s like we hung out and did all that. It’s just like the movie.

The Brotherhood Theme: Tucker thinks the film’s brotherhood theme echoes real life. “I think it added that we definitely…we really cared about each other, because we really grew on each other. 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.”

Jackie Chan and Stunt Work: Asked what’s the most amazing stunt he’s ever seen Jackie Chan accomplish, Tucker replied, “Oh, man, I have seen him do crazy, crazy stuff. Jumping and swinging and… I like the way he has a vision about something. He’d do a shot, cut, cut, cut, cut.

He knows all the shots and he’ll do them all. 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.”

Carter Drives People Crazy: Tucker’s character Carter is constantly getting on his partner’s nerves, but Tucker wouldn’t have a problem getting along with the talkative Carter. “Carter is sort of a person who is kind of out there,” said Tucker. “He likes to have fun. He was used to working by himself, but now he’s used to working with Jackie because they became brothers and friends in this movie. That gave us room to be funny and more action, because Carter in this movie has more action scenes. He has a love interest with Noemie Lenoir, a French actress, and he speaks Chinese. So my character, he’s trying to speak Chinese, so I wanted all those things to try and make him evolve a little bit instead of being the same character in Rush Hour 2.

It just makes him a bit more exciting. But I would be able to get along with Carter. Carter’s cool, because I always put a lot of me in these characters, a little extra, but I always put a little bit of me.”

Is There a Rush Hour 4 in Chris Tucker’s Future?: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.”

But Tucker promises it won’t take another five years to get off the ground. “Not in five years. No, because Jackie told me, ‘I chased you for five, six years! This time you call me!’ So if this one does good, what I’ll do, I’ll just go write a script with a writer. I’ll come up with it real fast. I’ll just do it real fast, have it there, a matter of fact. I’m just going to get a script done.”

Page 2: Chris Tucker on the Timing of Rush Hour 3 and New Priorities

Page 2

Picky, Picky, Picky: Or at least that’s what some people think Tucker was being by delaying his return to the big screen for six years. “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. During my travels a lot of things I got involved in, like in Africa. You 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 I went to Oprah Winfrey’s thing, of course. It just made me realize that it’s a big world out there. Going to places in Uganda that [don’t] have clean water, because an animal died in the water supply and they need $50, $100 to build a pump to get fresh water. And little girls walking all day to get a bucket of water for their families. Those things made me appreciate what we have here in America.

I used to brush my teeth with Evian water and Fiji water because I don’t want to use the sink water. 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 them crying and I said, ‘What can I do? This problem is just too big.’ I remember what one of the nuns said – it was two nuns who took care of all these young babies. She used to work under Mother Teresa and she said that Mother Theresa said, ‘Every raindrop creates an ocean.’ 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 Hollywood. Now everybody is going. George Clooney and Don Cheadle [are] doing stuff in Darfur, which is great because I feel like I get what Mother Teresa was saying.

‘If you do your part, other people will see what you are doing and say, ‘What is he doing?’ They will use their fame and their celebrity in a much more powerful way than just being famous and get a whole bunch of money for yourself.”

A Change in Priorities: “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 Africa then I can give them. They give me more than I give them. All I do is show up and they say, ‘Chris Tucker! Thank you for coming. What are you doing all the way over here?’ And they show me life is special, because they don’t have much. They don’t have a lot, but they have a lot of love. They appreciate life because they don’t have a lot.

It’s hard to get a glass of water or food, so it makes me appreciate [it]. When I give, I always receive. Even in my movies if I can make someone laugh, that’s giving.

And the same thing with me, when I watch a movie I want someone to make me forget about my problems.”

Why Now’s the Right Time for Rush Hour 3: Tucker said, “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 a while 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. They said, ‘Well, let’s do another one,’ because it made a lot of money. 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. 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, ‘Okay, 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 Jackie got older, so let’s have Jackie come back to the States, America, and they bump into each other in the alley.’ That was our idea. And also, where are we going to go? And I said, ‘Let’s go to Paris!’ Because we will both be fish out of waters. They wanted to go to Hawaii and this, that, and the other. I said, ‘What about Paris?’ So we all agreed on Paris. We all thought that would be the best place.

It was a process of making our schedules work and also, Brett was doing , Jackie was doing 200 other movies, and I was off in Africa with no phone service. So it was all, you know, you got to get us all back together. This movie, it takes you around the world and shows you these two guys from two different worlds, from two different cultures, get to know one another and laugh at each other. And all these stereotypes of different cultures, like the French and Americans and the Americans don’t like French. I think it’s funny because it’s so silly that talking about other people’s cultures and this and that.

There is nothing wrong with being different, because of language barriers. That’s what makes it special.”