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Chris Tucker the Philanthropist

Published August 12, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of WireImage.
Chris Tucker Chris Tucker
Fans have missed seeing Chris Tucker on screen, but at least he was gone for a good reason. Tucker has been traveling the world on humanitarian missions, doing what he can for the less fortunate of the world.

Chris Tucker the Humanitarian

"During my travels, a lot of things I got involved in like in Africa, going on a lot of great trips because people knew who I was, because my celebrity and fame," said Tucker. "Going on trips with Bono, Clinton, Colin Powell and went to Oprah Winfrey’s thing of course and it just made me realize that it’s a big world out there. Going to places in Uganda that doesn’t have clean water, because an animal died in the water supply and they need $50, $100 to build a pump to get fresh water. And little girls walking all day to get a bucket of water for their families, those things made me appreciate what we have here in America."

Getting $20 million or more per movie can make one take simple things for granted. "I used to brush my teeth with Evian water and Fiji water because I don’t want to use the sink water. I don’t do that anymore, because I have seen these things and going to Ethiopia, seeing a room full of infants, babies and some of them blind and most of them was crying and I said, ‘What can I do? This problem is just too big.’ And I remember what one of the nuns said. It was two nuns took care of all these young babies and she used to work under Mother Theresa and she said, that Mother Theresa said, ‘Every raindrop creates an ocean.’ And I interpret what she meant by that, she meant that if everybody just took their part then this problem wouldn’t be so big. We could solve a lot of these issues in the world. So, that’s what I’ve been doing."

Ultimately, these pursuits are more rewarding than box office hits. "I think when you step back you open yourself up to a whole other world. And now I have these great friends like Clinton and the King of Jordan and all these great people who I would have never encountered if I had just been for myself. If I wanted to make as many movies as I can and all the money in the world, I wouldn’t have this great life, because I found out that I get more out of people in Africa than I can give them. They give me more than I give them. All I do is show up and they say, ‘Chris Tucker! Thank you for coming. What are you doing all the way over here?’ And they show me life is special, because they don’t have much, they don’t have a lot, but they have a lot of love and they appreciate life because they don’t have a lot. It’s hard to get a glass of water or food, so it makes me appreciate, when I give, I always receive. Even in my movies if I can make someone laugh that’s giving and the same thing with me, when I watch a movie I want someone to make me forget about my problems."

Having a sense of humor also makes it easier to deal with these tragic situations. "Humor and love, because every time I see a kid smile because he’s seen my movie, because these movies travel all over the world, that makes me feel good inside. And I just think that’s natural healing and it makes them feel good because it’s like, ‘Look at this guy, I’ve only seen him on film and now he’s all the way over here.’ It’s like a real spiritual moment and comedy is the same way, because that’s a natural healing, if medicine can heal you then surely music when you hear something good, it changes your mood, then truly laughter and all that stuff is even a greater healing."

Expect Tucker to continue his travels even when he returns to Hollywood. "I definitely want to keep traveling and hopefully making movies and traveling at the same time. Making movies and being somewhere on the other side of the world. I think that would be fun."

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of WireImage.

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