Martin Lawrence explains why he rejected Jackie Chan’s offer to be his ‘Rush Hour’ co-star

Francis Akhalbey June 06, 2024
Martin Lawrence said he turned down an offer to feature in "Rush Hour" -- Left photo credit: Angela George | Right photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Veteran comedian and actor Martin Lawrence recently revealed he could have co-starred with Jackie Chan in the box-office hit movie Rush Hour. But he turned down an offer for a role in the critically acclaimed movie that saw Chris Tucker starring alongside Chan.

Lawrence, 59, spoke about the offer when he and Bad Boys: Ride or Die co-star Will Smith appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday. 

“Jackie Chan asked me to star in ‘Rush Hour’ with him, but I turned it down,” Lawrence said during the show’s true confessions game, Marca reported. Smith responded, “Jackie Chan likes Black people”, causing Fallon and the audience to laugh. Smith then asked Lawrence where he took the call. 

Lawrence then provided details about how Chan, 70, tabled the offer. “Where did I take the call? He did my show, so we talked somewhere in between there. We talked in person, and then we had a dinner,” the Big Momma’s House star recalled.

Fallon while discussing that topic also asked Lawrence why he turned down the offer. “Wasn’t enough money,” the 59-year-old responded. And though the film was hugely successful, Lawrence told Fallon he did not regret rejecting the offer.

“I was happy for Chris, that’s what it was supposed to be,” Lawrence said. “Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, they brought a beautiful franchise with ‘Rush Hour’.”

Rush Hour hit the theatres in 1998. The cop action comedy movie featured Chan and Tucker as police officers who teamed up to “rescue the Chinese Consul’s kidnapped daughter, while trying to arrest a dangerous crime lord along the way”, per IMDb.

The success of the debut movie paved the way for two more Rush Hour sequels to be released in 2001 and 2007. Chan in December 2022 also spoke about the likelihood of releasing a fourth Rush Hour sequel.  

“We’re talking about part four right now,” Chan said at a film festival in Saudi Arabia, Deadline reported.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 6, 2024

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