In 1995, Ice Cube doubled-down on his transition into Tinsel Town by linking up with first-time director F. Gary Gray to create a cinematic classic, Friday. This past weekend marked the 19th anniversary of the film, so we decided to follow up with the cast and crew.
Written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, Friday starred the duo and a cast of characters revolving around 16 hours in the lives of two unemployed slackers named Craig Jones and Smokey. The latter was played by then-up-and-comer Chris Tucker, and would go on to be a surprise box office smash. The plot found the pair experiencing the lives of family (led by the hilarious John Witherspoon), duplicitous schemers (Anthony Johnson and Bernie Mac, neighborhood hotties (Nia Long) and, of course, the local bully Debo (Tommy “Tiny” Lister).
The success of Friday would immediately go on to influence the popular consciousness, as slang, favorite lines, and the cast themselves all became things audiences needed to know. The film also spawned two sequels: Next Friday and Friday After Next, which found star Chris Tucker moving on for more PG-fodder. Since then, many fans have wondered when the original gang would come back for the fourth installment with Cube saying, “We’re ready to film the fourth Friday, but it is stuck in development hell.”
While we wait for them to get it together, and to celebrate 19th anniversary, we bring y’all up to speed with what the cast and crew have been doing since the mid-nineties.