You’ve likely seen the catchphrase, “Bye, Felicia” pop up on social media, or heard a friend say it dismissive. While many don’t know the origin, it’s actually a line from the classic comedy, Friday. In a hilarious scene alongside Chris Tucker, Ice Cube’s character, Craig, uses the line to dismiss Felicia, the neighborhood drug addict. Only a handful of people know the woman behind the memorable character: Angela Means.
Former model and actress Means lives quietly with her son, Bradley, in California, away from the cameras, but she’s pleasantly surprised about the reemergence of her character. Suddenly, the phrase is the one-liner used to shut down a debate or foolery. It’s quoted by everyone from everyday people to Keith Olberman and Kenya Moore of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. There are hashtags, t-shirts and even emojis with “Bye Felicia.”
“The last thing, I think, me and Cube both thought was that this was going to be a part of America’s pop culture 20 years later,” Means says. “I’m cool with the ‘Bye Felicia’ thing, but I tell my son, ‘Don’t put it on my tombstone.’”
You probably haven’t seen Means since her role in Friday, but it was by her design. “I made a list of everything that I wanted to do in Hollywood, and once I got that script, it was like, ’Wow,’ she says. “I understood how great that story was. It was going to be my exit. I could exit with something really great.”
Means stepped away from the spotlight in 1995 to raise her son having done everything she desired to do. She was a professional model turned comedienne, appearing on Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam and headlining national comedy tours. She also acted in small television roles, guest spots and many may remember her as “Vida,” Kid’s fiancée in House Party 3 in 1994.
“I got in, and I got out. If I have any more talents left, I’ve used them all.”
Since then, she’s worked behind the camera, producing videos and starting a still photography business, with Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown among the big names in her portfolio. Her biggest job is being a full-time football mom. Her son is a 4.0 student and championship-winning quarterback committed to the University of Miami. “I did everything that I wanted to do,” she says. “I never wanted to overshadow him. I’m just Mom.”
Means’ interests have since shifted from entertainment to holistic health through cooking and early childhood development. “My passion right now is healthy lifestyle and helping people reverse some of the diseases that they’ve contract due to poor diet and poor nutrition,” she says. “It’s my ultimate passion to feed people correctly and to get organic foods into people in the right portions at the right time.”
She adds that just as important as what you put in your body, is acquiring knowledge through education, which begins in the home, especially for African Americans. “We struggle in education. We wait for our kids to get to school (to learn),” she says. “One of my biggest messages is to read to your children at night. Teach your kids.”
Means admits she gets the itch for the stage occasionally and recently performed a brief standup in a L.A. club. Fans shouldn’t expect to see her perform often though. “When I do it now, I do it to get things off my chest. You’re not going to see me on a comedy show on a Friday night.”
She’d rather use her renewed notoriety for her platform for clean eating and nutrition. “I find purpose in what I’m doing,” Means says. “You know what I say to entertainment? Bye Felicia.”