Friday, August 10, 2007

Celebrity Philanthropy: Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker is back along with Jackie Chan for the movie Rush Hour 3 which opens in theaters today. It has been six years since the last Rush Hour movie and Chris says that he was in no rush to return to the big screen.

Chris tells the Washington Post that for the last six years, he's been "enjoying my celebrity." But not in the way you might think. The article states that when he talks about "enjoying his celebrity," he is talking about the liberty to take years off, lend his name and voice to the underrepresented, to worry about problems bigger than his own.

He says on the six year break between films:

"It took a while because I was doing things around the world that were really important to me....I wasn't controlled by making movies and getting as much money as I could. I was just living a little bit . . . going to villages with no clean water, going to Ethiopia with Bono."

Chris was first encouraged to visit Africa during the filming of the first Rush Hour to "go see the real people." He eventually visited and returns on a regular basis, with most of his philanthropic work focused on getting clean water and medical care to children in the poorest parts of the continent. He says:

"These kids are so smart and so happy, and some of them just want a book to read.....and I felt like that was more important. To give, rather than taking all the time."

Chris hosted a Rush Hour 3 premiere party in his hometown of Atlanta for his family and friends:
 
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Jermaine Dupri, Dallas Austin, Evan Ross and Terrance Howard


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Chris with former first lady of Atlanta Valerie Jackson
 
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Chris and his Aunt

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Chris with Angie Stone


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Photos by Rick Diamond/Wire Image
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