Chris Tucker Almost Died Shooting Tupac’s “California Love” Video

Elijah C. Watson Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When…
Chris Tucker Almost Died Shooting Tupac's "California Love" Video

Chris Tucker Almost Died Shooting Tupac's "California Love" Video

Turns out Chris Tucker‘s incredible role in Tupac‘s “California Love” music video was almost his last.

Serving as a guest on the Late Late Show this past Thursday, Tucker talked about filming the visuals for the 1995 West Coast rap anthem, and how his life was saved by none other than Michael Clarke Duncan.

“That was great,” Tucker said of the shoot. “It was fun and dangerous at the same time. Tupac just got out of jail and Suge Knight was walking around with a Rottweiler. I didn’t know if I was gonna get bit or what. I almost fell off a jeep. Michael Clarke Duncan saved my life, my good friend. He saved my life! I was so young.”

Turns out that main source of danger present throughout the shoot, were the dunes in the middle of the desert where filming was happening.

“I was on the jeep and I was acting,” Tucker recalled. “I was overacting…and they went over a dune in the middle of the desert and I was like ‘Ah!’ and Michael said, ‘Come here, little boy, come back here,’ and I said, ‘Thank you, God. Thank you!'”

Tucker’s over acting inevitably became an integral part of the greatness of “California Love.” The video, inspired by the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, featured Tucker as an evil tribal chief, hunting down Dr. Dre and Tupac.

Years later and “California Love” is considered one of the best music videos ever made.

With Tucker reminiscing on this classic 1995 role, maybe at some point in the foreseeable future we will see him reprise his role as Smokey, in the seminal Friday movie that dropped that same year?
Ice Cube has stated he is interested in making another Friday film, which would be called The Last Friday. Hopefully we will hear news of Tucker signing on for the project, but until then at least we have “California Love.”

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