Chris Tucker Reveals Why He Had a Role in ‘Air’ After a 7-Year Break

After a seven-year hiatus from filmmaking, Chris Tucker is back in the Ben Affleck-directed film Air.

The sports drama tells the story of the hugely successful partnership between then-rookie Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball division.

Tucker last appeared on the big screen in the 2016 film Ang Lee Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

So what made him say yes to Amazon Air?

“I’m playing a friend of mine,” Tucker shared on the red carpet Saturday, March 18, at the film’s premiere during the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

Related story: Chris Tucker says he only got paid $10,000 for ‘Friday’

The comedian and actor stars as former NBA player Howard White, who is now vice president of Jordan Brand for Nike.

“My agents came to me and said, ‘We have a role, Howard White.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute! I know Howard,” Tucker explained.

He then called White who confirmed the script would explore his relationship with Jordan.

“So it was all the good stuff I love. He was a great friend of mine, whom I love very much. Michael Jordan, the Jordan brand and sports, so I said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do that. It will be fun,” Tucker said.

The actor, who previously starred in FridayTHE Peak hour movies and oscar winners Silver Linings Playbookadded that the film’s cast was also a big draw.

“Working with these guys sounds great,” he said.

Air features an all-star cast, including Oscar winners Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Viola Davis.

Damon plays Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro and Affleck co-stars as Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Davis and her real-life husband Julius Tennon play Jordan’s protective parents, Deloris and James Jordan. Jason Bateman stars as Rob Strasser, Chris Messina plays David Falk, Marlon Wayans plays George Raveling, and Matthew Maher plays Peter Moore.

Air hits theaters April 5 ahead of its premiere on Prime Video.

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