Chris Tucker at the Heart FM Studios in Green Point Cape Town. Christopher Tucker is an American actor and stand-up comedian. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

IOL Entertainment sat down with American comedian Chris Tucker ahead of his show Cape Town on Wednesday.

During the press conference at the Heart FM studios in Green Point, The “Rush Hour” star — who's absent from the big screen awhile — said his return to his standup comedy roots does not mean he will not act again. 

The “Fifth Element” actor only had kind words to say about his "Rush Hour" co-star Jackie Chan and gushed about the work they’ve done together. 

“I mean Jackie Chan is the king of China and he’s just a genius. You know, watching him create with action is amazing, because nobody does action like Jackie. And I knew the first Rush Hour when I got the part was something special. I was a big fan his and I knew comedy and action work well together with me because I’m physical. So it was a pleasure working with him.” 

The dynamic duo are also still in contact and Tucker said that Chan recently called him from Beijing and jokingly said it was a collect call too much laughter. 

The ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ star opened up about his return to stand up and how he got started in comedy. “When I was in high school I was the class clown and I was the funny guy in school. And I was trying to figure out what I was gonna do. ”

He continued, “I hosted a couple of talent shows and got my first laugh and I said this is what I’m gonna do with the rest of my life.”

The "Friday" star also mentioned that when his movie career took off, his standup career took a back seat due to the long hours required for filming. Saying that for the last seven to ten years he’s been doing standup comedy all across the US and across the globe. “I love going back to my roots and it’s the foundation for the next movies I’ll do”, he said. 

Tucker is mostly known for his comedic roles but took a turn into the dramatic side with "Silver Linings Playbook" alongside "A Star is Born" director Bradley Cooper and Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro. 

“It was a big role. I took it seriously and I went to Philadelphia a couple of weeks early just to try and figure out if I was gonna do a Philadelphian accent or if I was just gonna focus on the character.  And once that was done that’s when all the fun happened.”

When asked about the midterm elections which took place on Tuesday the comedian said that every American should vote and emphasised that “It’s your power and that you don’t have to be president to be powerful and through voting for someone you believe in.”

Tucker also shared his most exciting set experience and said while most of them have been exciting, being in London on the set of "Fifth Element" really stood out. As he was very young when he stared in the film. And while he was scared initially, once all the hair and makeup were on it took him into space he’d never been before.

Before his exit, the comedian also gave some sage advice to up-and-coming comics and actors saying, “Keep working on your craft. Either way, if you’re filming something just keep working. I think preparing is more important than being in the light. Then when they do put the camera on you, you’re extra ready. If you don’t prepare, you’re preparing to fail”.

* Chris Tucker is performing at the GrandWest Arena on Wednesday, 07 November and in Durban at the ICC Arena on Friday, 09 November. 

Tickets range from R345 to R2 000 and are available at Computicket with the show starting at 8:30pm.