Exclusive: ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ trailer marks Chris Tucker’s long-awaited return

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk

"Silver Linings Playbook" is getting a lot of praise and even early Oscar buzz -- especially for Jennifer Lawrence's darkly comedic performance as a recent widow with a bag full of problems.

The film, also starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, is ushering in another occasion: Comedian Chris Tucker's big screen comeback. Tucker hasn't appeared in a film in five years, and it's been a whopping 15 years since he has been in a movie that was not from his popular action-comedy "Rush Hour" franchise with Jackie Chan.

Speaking of "Jackie," lest we forget, this isn't the first time Tucker has appeared among Oscar caliber talent. He played a key role in Quentin Tarantino's 1997 homage to blaxploitation, "Jackie Brown." In the film, starring famed blaxploitation actress Pam Grier, Tucker plays a loose-lipped criminal who winds up paying the ultimate price for squealing. Tucker also appeared alongside the likes of Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Mila Jovovich in "The Fifth Element" that same year.

In "Silver Linings Playbook," Tucker also plays a key role... as Pat's (Cooper) quirky friend Danny -- for which he is also earning early critical praise. His character provides comic relief, but Oscar nominated writer-director David O. Russell ("The Fighter") had to reign him in on set. "Once I go too far, David is like, 'Don't do that. Do this,' you know. That's the privilege of working with a great director," Tucker told reporters recently at the Toronto International Film Festival [via eurweb.com].

During that same press conference, Tucker admitted his five year absence has been less about taking a break and more about lack of quality roles coming his way."It's very difficult because there aren't a lot of good scripts. That's why you haven't seen a lot of me," he said recently [via National Post]

Tucker is touring for his standup act this year, but since he's been out of the limelight,  he has concentrated on his charity geared toward helping youth and their families, The Chris Tucker Foundation, and also battled the IRS over a reported $11 million he owes the government. Tucker also had plans to star and direct a movie where he would play the first African-American president, but we actually got one in real life before he could get the film off the ground.  He did actively campaign for Obama in '08.

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