Chris Tucker at the Essex House hotel in New York. (MMoore Photo)

Chris Tucker at the Essex House hotel in New York. (MMoore Photo)

*Chris Tucker, one of the highest paid actors at one time, is back on the big screen in a big way in“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.”

He is in the pivotal role of Albert, a film producer, and could change the lives of the Bravos—a group of celebrated Iraqi soldiers. He has the rights to the Bravo story and negotiates with a studio to bring the heroics of the squad to the big screen..

In addition to working with director Ang Lee, Tucker said at the Essex House in New York, he has great respect for the Armed Forces. He related a story that showed the feelings were mutual.

“I was traveling around the country doing stand up comedy and bumped into a lot of soldiers coming home,” he said. “I told the stewardess to tell the soldier with one leg he could have my seat in first class.   I was going to do a show and was really tired. I guess he realized how exhausted I was and sent a note back saying, ‘No, thank. I know you’re really tired, Mr. Tucker. You’re getting ready to go and do a show and I really like you. I admire your movie. I loved you in ‘The Fifth Element.’

Joe Alwun and Chris Tucker in a scene from BLLHW.

Joe Alwyn and Chris Tucker in a scene from BLLHW.

“I was like, ‘Man, this guy is great,’” Tucker continued. “A hero risking his life and with such [humility]. So doing this movie wasn’t just about bringing courageous soldiers to the screen, but a personal encounter I had with a soldier. Having met all of them at the airport, I had a personal connection. My character in the film has a personal connection to Bravo. He really roots for the Bravo guys and he wants to sell the movie rights and get their story told in a bigger way.”

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” opened in New York and Los Angeles last week but opens wide November 18.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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