Eddie Murphy talks possible return to standup & his movie hiatus

It’s hard to imagine that we’re in a world where there are young folks who are now about to vote in their first presidential election that only know Eddie Murphy as an actor in terrible, far-fetched kids movies. They will always think of him first as the guy from DADDY DAY CARE, MEET DAVE, PLUTO NASH, DR. DOLITTLE and A THOUSAND WORDS, with his greatest success being the voice of a talking donkey. Sadly, his great works like TRADING PLACES, 48 HRS., BEVERLY HILLS COP, his massive standup movies RAW and DELIRIOUS, and even THE NUTTY PROFESSOR would be met with, “Oh, the dude from SHREK was actually funny?” Yes…yes he was.

But Murphy hopes to change all that. After a near five-year hiatus from the film business, Murphy is ready to get back in the groove with a new attitude and focus. He recently sat down with THR for his first ever podcast, and mentioned why he—and the audience—needed such a big break:

I haven't been in the movies the last five years because I was giving the audience a break. After a while, the audience needs a break, and you need a break, too. You start taking each other for granted. I'm like, 'I know what you all like!' And the audience is like, 'Oh, yeah, I know what he's gonna do!' So you're taking each other for granted, and the next thing you know you're starring in [the 2002 flop The Adventures of] Pluto Nash.

His return is signaled by the upcoming indie drama MR. CHURCH, and is also set to play Richard Pryor’s father, LeRoy Pryor, in the Pryor biopic, and is attached to the on-again-off-again-but-now-officially-on BEVERLY HILLS COP 4. However, what could be most exciting for fans is his possible return to where it all started—standup comedy:

Honestly, now I really am curious about doing it again because it's been so long, and so much has changed and I'm such a different person. I'm curious as to what it would be like if I got onstage. But, if I do that, whoever comes to see it has to sit through a bunch of my shitty songs. You'd have to hear my shitty songs between the jokes.

When referring to “shitty songs” he means the music he’s been making in recent years, which includes a reggae song with Snoop Lion in 2013. But music is just one way he’s been spending his time. Another has been thinking about his Oscar loss to Alan Arkin in 2007—which though he has no anger over—has been plotting his perfect, hilarious revenge:

I'm gonna come out a 90-year-old dude, in a sky-blue tuxedo — there's a reason why it's sky blue — and I'm gonna walk out and when they give me the award and they hand it to me, I'm just gonna stand there and urinate on myself in front of the world — the whole world — and just stand there. And then they're gonna have to play that music and then they'll have to usher me off. That's gonna be my moment.

Murphy is one of those talented actors, like Matthew McConaughey, whose reputation was tarnished after a series of bad project choices. But a break is something every actor who has trailed off the path needs to go on. Now he’s cleared his mind, no longer looks for paychecks in his roles, and has even postponed COP 4 to make sure it’s not “thrown together to get a big check.” Only time will tell if Murphy can earn back the audience's respect. If his acting doesn’t do it, hopefully his classic Bill Cosby impression will.

MR. CHURCH hits select theaters September 16, and BEVERLY HILLS COP 4 is aiming to start production early next year. You can see a trailer for MR. CHURCH below as well as the aforementioned Cosby impression in what was considered his momentary return to standup during his Mark Twain award acceptance speech late last year.

Source: THR



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