Ice Cube discusses his motivation to make a “hood classic”, character inspirations, and the origins of “Bye Felicia.” Read more after the jump.
A full 20 years have puff-puff passed since the stoner comedy Friday lit up movie theaters and became not just a cult sensation but a bona-fide classic. The hilarious film – about potheads Craig (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker) trying to enjoy a day off while avoiding both the neighborhood bully and a local drug dealer – launched the careers of helium-voiced motormouth Tucker and director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, Straight Outta Compton), and helped the rapper-turned-actor add screenwriter and movie producer to his resumé. It also provided America with memes like “You got knocked the fuck out!” and – just in the past year – “Bye Felicia!” (The character’s name is actually spelled Felisha in the film.) The movie, which was made for an estimated $3.5 million and went on to gross $28 million, became such a left-field hit that it spawned two sequels.
Looking back on its success, Ice Cube is still surprised by the ways in which people have embraced it. “To me, it’s one of the Number One movies you check out when you’re baked, or you’re getting down,” he says. “There’s people that have Friday parties, where they rent all three movies and just kind of enjoy ’em. It’s morphed into this big thing, and it started off as this little, cool idea. To me, that’s what I’m most proud about: It’s become part of not only just American culture, but there’s people all over the world that really love it. That’s how movies should be.”