Some stories take a long time to percolate and I’ve been sitting on this one for at least five years now.
James Brown used to be known as “the hardest working man in show business.” Chris Tucker? Not so much, and it’s apparently finally starting to hit the fan.
In 1997, Chris Tucker appeared in Jackie Brown with Samuel L. Jackson. It was a fun, throwaway scene where Sam’s character entices the character Chris plays with a night at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffle and winds up blowing his brains out in the trunk of his car. Since that scene, Samuel L. Jackson has approximately 7,974 credits on his IMDb page. Chris Tucker has three. Three!
Now I will admit that being compared to Samuel L. Jackson is a little unfair, because Sam keeps on working as if he was supporting half of South America. It doesn’t even have to be a big part and Sam will be in your movie. There must be at least 50 movies that Sam Jackson was in just briefly as he scrounged and struggled his way up the ranks of Hollywood. He started out in Spike Lee movies, and then for the next five years or so would apparently not turn down anything.
He’s the robber in Coming to America. He’s a dude that gets blown away after barely any screen time in both Goodfellas and True Romance. Brad Pitt once made a really obscure movie called Johnny Suede and Sam’s even in that one for like five minutes.
Sam apparently hasn’t forgotten the struggle of being a young actor, because he still takes on so many roles that you’d think every dollar he made was going towards solving our country’s debt problems. Yes, Sam Jackson works so hard that he's even been in a movie with Chris Tucker.
Chris Tucker? Not so much.
Chris Tucker didn’t have to struggle to make it in Hollywood. He turned a couple of small roles into being somehow one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. After making Money Talks and Rush Hour, Chris was reputedly part of the 20 million dollar club. People were beating down this guy’s door begging to pay him a ton of money to be in their movie. If Chris Tucker treated Hollywood the same way Eddie Murphy has, Chris would have starred in 12 movies a year and been richer than the Sultan of Brunei.
Not Chris Tucker. It’s been 13 years since the first Rush Hour and Chris Tucker has done absolutely no movie work except for the two Rush Hour sequels. I’m not sure if it was a sign of an odd sort of integrity on his part or if he had just decided that he’d made enough money to smoke weed for the rest of his life out on the beach. Actually, I’ve always been betting on the latter.
Year after year I’d keep checking Chris Tucker’s profile to see if he was planning on returning and year after year I’d sit, amazed at his ability to blow off hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of movie roles.
Well, Chris Tucker fans (that includes me), there’s some good news for you out there because dude seems to have run out of money.
Here’s the rundown from People magazine:
’Rush Hour’ star Chris Tucker's $6 million Florida mansion is in foreclosure, with more than $4.4 million owed to the bank, reports the Orlando Sentinel, citing papers filed in Circuit Court in Lake County.
Tucker, 39, bought the 10,000-sq.-ft. waterfront home on Lake Apopka, near Orlando, in 2007. The newspaper says the residence contains five bedrooms, three fireplaces, a personal spa, an outdoor kitchen overlooking a pool, and a basement outfitted to resemble a pirate ship, including the sail.
Court documents reportedly show an $11.5 million IRS lien on the home in 2011 in order to collect federal income taxes from Tucker, whose monthly mortgage payment, the documents also show, was $25,812.50.
Ask Willie Nelson. Nothing will get your work ethic in line
faster than owing money to the IRS.
So, while I wish that Chris’s apparent dream to spend the rest of his days smoking out and hardly working had worked out for him, as a fan I have to be at least a little happy that I’ll finally be able to see him on the big screen again.
I mean this honestly when I say, "Good luck, Chris. You tried to live the dream for all of us, but your money finally ran out. Hopefully, you still have the same comedic chops and everyone hasn’t forgotten who you are!"