Prince was the inspiration for Ruby Rhod, the most striking character in the 1997 film The Fifth Element
. Indeed, the director wanted Prince to play the role. He could revisit the delicious extravagances of Christopher Tracy (the character Prince played in Under the Cherry Moon
), and even wear a totally nutty and diaphanous costume designed by the film’s wardrobe supervisor, Jean Paul Gaultier. But Prince didn’t like Gaultier’s design for Ruby Rhod (he described it as too effeminate!), and he turned down the role that would immortalize Chris Tucker for millions. Tucker simply stole the movie, which, to be honest, was not hard to do because The Fifth Element
is not great. Rhod’s funky walk, his ridiculous fast talk, his popping sexual energy, his blurring between straight and gay, his uppity entourage—all of this is just a remix of Prince-groomed band, Morris Day and the Time. In The Fifth Element
, the standard Chris Tucker shtick vanishes in his portrayal of a galactic Prince on a spaceship to the stars.
by Charles Mudede