In the years since its debut, Friday has become a cult classic. The movie helped launch the careers of several stars and has a legacy so powerful it even exists on social media in memes and gifs as if it just came out. With many fans awaiting the production of a final Friday movie, the cast often get asked questions about their experience on the first film. Many have come forward stating that they made little to no money on the original Friday. Ice Cube recently caught word of a Faizon Love interview when he talks about the $2500 he made playing Big Worm. Cube was not happy about people thinking he underpaid his cast.
Cube responded to an article from Atlanta Black Star with the headline, “It wasn’t iconic when we did!” The article shares details from a recent interview by Faizon Love and Comedy X Hype. The person who reshared it says Cube claims he’s for the people but robbing his own.
Yo it’s wild how @icecube act like he for the people and whole time been robbing his own people…..Pay them people @FAIZONLOVE @christuckerreal #RipAjjohnson pic.twitter.com/Sz6YzrlTG9— HNDRXX2 (@SO_AMBITIOUS_28) December 29, 2021
Despite what the title may look like, Love was actually all love in his interview and simply responding to the question, “if you knew how successful the movie would be would you have taken the same payout?” Faizon Love played one of the film’s protagonists, Big Worm. While discussing the role with CXH, Faizon had nothing but positive things to say about his experience shooting Friday. According to him, the money was fine and he was able to pay his rent. More importantly, he was able to pursue more significant acting roles and bigger payouts. When Ice Cube reached out for him to return for Next Friday, this time offering him $5000, Faizon was able to turn it down. The following day Warner Bros. offered him $100k to star in The Replacements.
Chris Tucker had a similar experience with the franchise. Despite being its breakout star and most memorable character, Tucker was noticeably absent from its two sequels. Tucker’s reasoning has changed over the years. Most recently he claimed religious reasons and not wanting to personify the stereotype of a black stoner in an interview with Eddie Levert and his family. In reality, Tucker scored a massive win following Friday with the Jackie Chan buddy-cop action-comedy Rush Hour. The film made him such a massive star that he was able to demand $20 and $25 million to return for Rush Hour 2 and 3 respectively, far more than the $10 and $12 million Ice Cube offered him to return for Next Friday and Friday After Next.
Outside of Tucker and Love, other cast members made comments about how much they had been paid. John Witherspoon, who played Will Jones, was very candid about how much he got paid versus how much the movie made. Witherspoon told Vlad TV that he only got paid $5k against the movie’s $2 million budget. The first Friday went on to gross $300 million. He lamented that they did not turn around and pay the actors for what it grossed, but they did make up for it on the follow-up films’ salaries. He told Vlad in later interviews that they paid him $500k for Next Friday and $1 million for Friday After Next.
For Ice Cube, the reports on pay and the idea that he “robbed” his cast were not received well. The “Good Day” rapper took to social media to let people know that the numbers added up for the budget they had and no one was taken advantage of. “I didn’t rob no […] body” Cube told his Twitter followers. “
Fans jumped in his mentions to defend him and let him know that the actors have all thanked him for paying them more in the following films. “John Witherspoon said he only made 5,000 the first movie but made $400,000 the second. Everybody made more money the second time around” reported one follower. Other’s jumped to Faizon’s defense letting Cube know that the interview was taken out of context and that Love did acknowledge what the film did for him and how it helped jump-start his career. “Read the article. He acknowledged that he would have been nowhere without this movie,” someone said in the replies.