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EXTRA! Eddie Murphy

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2020 12:00 am

EXTRA! Eddie Murphy

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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January 1, 2020 12:00 am

Tracy Smith's extended interview with Eddie Murphy.

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It's a conversation that offers insight beyond the broadcast. On this episode, Eddie Murphy. The comic actor spent decades in the spotlight starting in the 1980s when he was a breakout star on Saturday Night Live. He went on to success on the big screen with 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America and his reimagining of The Nutty Professor. But in recent years, Murphy has kept a pretty low profile.

That is, until now. With the release of Dolomite Is My Name, a film for Netflix that started out small, but it is getting a lot of attention. Our Tracy Smith sat down to hear why this film has brought Eddie Murphy back into the spotlight.

So let's talk Dolomite. This movie has been getting rave reviews. Do you read reviews?

No, I don't read the reviews, but I've heard, you know, I hear about the reviews. People tell you. Well, you kind of, you kind of can tell what's going on. Just walking around, you can tell if it's good or bad. And it's pretty darn good. It's been pretty well received from what I can see or from what I've heard.

Let me read you some of the things. Pure joy. Eddie Murphy brings down the house. It's a triumph.

Eddie Murphy gives a killer comeback performance. Is it a comeback? Ah, comeback. I guess, you know, they like to say comeback.

I don't know. I look at the big picture. I started working when I was doing comedy.

I was 15, and I've been working since then. And so I kind of like. It's not peaks and valleys for you. No, they are peaks and valleys. They are peaks and valleys, especially if you're doing anything over, you know, I've been making movies almost 40 years now.

So you're going to have peaks and valleys and hot and cold periods. But I never look of it as comeback because I've always, I'm still, I'm here. You know, I've always been here, even if I'm not on the movie set for a couple of years. The way the world is wired now, even if you wanted to leave, you can't. Your image is everywhere. It's between the movie channels and the social media.

And 40 years of work is constantly being shown somewhere all the time. So you can't really leave sometime, come back. Let's make it easier. Yes, it's my comeback. Yes, it's my big comeback. Every 10 years or so, I launch a big comeback.

I've been doing that for the last 40 years. Every 10 years, I come back. This movie is funny, but it also is tender and heartbreaking and inspiring. Yes, it's the sweetest motherf***er movie ever.

That's right. It is, because there's a lot of language in it because of the world that we're in. But it's really sweet. It's a really sweet movie. What did you tap into to find that tenderness that he has? Well, we just told his story. That's part of his story. That was one of the things that made us think this was a good movie, because he's a human being. He's not Dolomite. That's a character that he made. And he's a human being.

So he's got all the stuff that everybody has. And so it was easy to find that? Well, just telling the story, it came out. There's a lot of stuff that came out as we went along. We didn't realize how sweet the relationship with him and Queen B would be until Divine came in and read.

That's when we saw the possibilities from her audition. So a lot of it came together as we went along. For you, ultimately, what's the message? To believe in yourself. Rudy Ray Moore, what his great talent was, was he believed in himself. That's the one thing that we lose when we be trying to get something going. If it don't come together quick, you kind of give up on it and try something else. That's what we spend our whole life trying, starting and finishing something, never really finishing anything.

And Rudy Ray Moore, he exemplifies the whole, he has follow through. And he believes in himself with the least amount he believes in himself with the least amount. Like he's not great looking, and he's not the most talented, and his movies are made really crude, and he's got no permits, and he's shooting on the street, and he's making his album in his living room. And on paper, it's not supposed to work, you know, and he believes in it. And that's the most important ingredient in anything in life. I know it sounds cliche, but that's true. But it's true. You can see it, you can see it, it can be it and all that. That's real. Did you always believe in yourself?

Yeah. You know, I remember when I was about 13, 14, I started talking about show business and really like dates. I'd be like, oh, when I'm this age, I'm going to be on this. And when I'm that age, I'm going to. And I really believed it when I was a kid.

And did it happen that way? Everything happened just like I said it was when I was a little, I started saying when I was 13, 14, I was going when I'm going to get famous, when I'm 18 and everybody talking about it. And I auditioned for SNL when I was 18.

You were 18. I mean, that's what it's amazing because you were doing stand up as a teenager and then on SNL as a teenager and not just on SNL. I mean, you carried the show. A lot of people say that you saved the show from being canceled.

Oh, that sounds so nice. But actually what happened was they were going to cancel the show and they were right on the edge. If I would have left the show a season earlier, they would have canceled the show. And I stayed.

So you saved the show from being canceled? I guess kind of. When you look back at that, I mean, you were so young.

Yeah. Did you feel the weight of that as, you know, a 19 year old when you're a kid and things kind of come together really quick, even if they don't come together. When you're young, you take everything for granted. Like I was like, OK, you know, it's supposed to work out like this, you know. So now when I look back on a lot of stuff, I'd be like, wow, that was extraordinary.

Oh, wow. That was a trip to be in that situation that age. Now I see it. But back then, you just kind of was going along with it. You're right in the middle of it, right in the middle of it.

So you couldn't see if something extraordinary was happening, but you didn't realize it at the moment. Let's talk about Delirious. There are so many great bits from that. I mean, talk about something that stands up. The ice cream man. What do you think it is about the ice cream man that just works? I think it's just a relatable bit. Like everybody's had the ice cream man in their neighborhood and got excited when the ice cream truck. I think everybody, a lot of people have had that experience. So when you say something that people, oh, yeah, I had that. It's really relatable. When you watch that stuff, do you laugh?

Does it, this is still funny to you? Some of it, some of it I cringe when I watch them like, oh my God, I can't believe I said that. Not so much Delirious, but Raw is like, I'm really like, sometimes I'll be like, oh, that's pretty racy. Because I was a kid when I'm saying, when I'm doing Delirious, I'm 20, 22 years old. And Raw, I'm 27 years old, 26 years old.

So it's like a kid. And I was really, really using some strong language. I mean, people picketing you.

Oh, yeah. Did that bother you? No, in the moment you kind of was like, it's just, it is what it is, what it is. Does it bother you now?

Are they picketing me? No, but you know what I mean? Looking back, I know you said you cringe. Are you like, oh, I wish I didn't say that stuff. I've seen stuff that I go like, oh, that's, ooh. Yeah. You get a joke every now and then. That's cringy. But that's not to say that I don't appreciate it.

I still appreciate it. And I'm looking at it within the context of the times. I'm going, okay, I'm a kid saying that. It's like language that you might not use now. No, I'm not saying that.

I don't use language now. I'm saying, when you're older, it's like, you know what it's like, like looking through an old photo album and seeing an outfit you had on when you were in your 20s or a teenager. And you're like, what the fuck am I wearing?

Well, I have that, you know, as a movie, you know, crazy leather suit and all, I have all of that stuff and just moving around and talking. So yeah, you look back on a bunch of it and just being older. Anything you regret? Oh, absolutely not. No regrets?

None whatsoever. No, everything is what brings us to this moment. And this moment is bananas. You needed all those moments to get to this moment. Everybody, everybody, wherever you wind up and wherever you were that you needed all of that to get to be right here.

So right here is cool. Go back to the eighties. I mean, you dominated the box office in the eighties. It was like hit after hit after hit. What was that time like for you? You take it for granted. I was really, really young.

I started making 48 hours when I was 20 and everything happened really, really quick. And you just take it for granted when you're in the middle of it. And now I look back on it and think about some of the extraordinary people, people that I've met and unique encounters that I've had back then that you would take for granted. And now it's like, wow, I can't believe that happened. What did it mean to you in 2006 when you were nominated for Dreamgirls?

Oh, it's a wonderful thing to be nominated. That's a great thing, you know, because everybody, nobody said, is trying to make a bad movie, you know, and most movies don't work. Most movies that come out don't work. Think of many times you go to a movie theater for something you were excited about seeing. And it's like, I don't even like it. You know, most of the time you don't like the movie and most movies are flops.

And most TV shows are flops and most records are flops and most stuff doesn't work. So when you're in something that works and it works to the point to where, you know, they start this trophy chatter and people are saying, you know, that's a great thing because that's what everybody's trying to make a great movie. And if it's a comedy, then it's even sweeter, you know, because that's who I am. And to know that, you know, it's well received and people are laughing. That's the best.

That's the best. Do you let yourself listen to the awards chatter or do you try to drown that out? I don't follow this stuff. I don't read, I don't read papers and magazines and any of that stuff. Why? I just stopped years ago. Why'd you stop?

I wish I had like a, I could say like a really deep reason or something. It's kind of like the same thing is in the paper all the time. Always. It's always the same stuff and the same things. And if you want to go and whenever you want, you can go pick up the paper and see, you know, who killed who and who blew up what and what countries are about to fight and what disease is out and who got this and all.

It's always the same stuff. And you kind of like, don't really need to read the papers and know the news and all that stuff to know that that stuff is going on. You know, so I kind of like, can I stop looking at it? Did that change your life? Change how you felt?

No, I think what happened was that the way I felt changed and then I started not looking at it. It was like, I need to see this stuff. Every now and then now, I'll watch, you know, just so I'm not like I'm off the grid.

Every now and then I look through and read some stuff or see something, but the whole watching it every day and looking at it and all that stuff. I've never even owned a computer or did a Twitter, did a tweet. Tweet? Tweet? I've never tweeted. I've never tweeted and I've never had any of that stuff.

I don't do any of it. And I don't have any, no one is, I haven't friended anyone and no one's following me and I'm not following anyone and I don't know. And I don't have any likes.

Is that what it is? You get likes? Yes, you get likes.

I don't have any likes that I know of. Do you think that's healthier to be that way? You know, staying away from all that stuff? Has it made you? I'm just not staying, it's made me healthier. I just don't, I never did.

I haven't not done it because I was trying to be healthier. It's not practical for me. Like, you know, to have a presence on social media and tweet me, tweet myself, you know, getting some new sneakers or having breakfast or whatever that stuff like, it's not practical for me. It seems like you prefer to be a little more, how do I put this? Not enigmatic, but it does seem like you kind of pulled yourself back a little bit from the world. Pulled myself back? Yeah.

I don't know. I'm really, I'm a homebody and a family man and that's what's at the center and that's where I spend most of my time and my energy and my attention and focus and all that stuff is in that. It's not like I pulled back. I'm more self-absorbed. Well, or not self-absorbed, right? It's like more... Everything, my world, it's all about my world and my family and all that.

It's all about, you know, I don't have time to tweet anything because I'm having these real experiences with my loved ones and friends and stuff. And your favorite place is to be on the couch? Yeah, or in this chair, wherever it's, you know, comfortable. It's a nice comfortable chair. You often are sitting on the couch like playing music?

Yeah. Well, I sit on the couch a lot and I do play guitar. So every now and then I am sitting there strumming away but it's not like I'm off.

I can be found on the couch playing guitar all the time. You record music but not releasing it to the public? You know, every now and then if I really like something, oh, I love that. That's one thing that I do. I watch YouTube and I love YouTube and I do have a couple of songs I put up on YouTube but I've never released anything like with a record label and do all that stuff. But every now and then I write something that's kind of nice and I put it up. And you have somewhere in this house there's like this vault of all these recordings of you with all these amazing artists of our time?

Oh, yeah, yeah. Over the years I've been in the studio with a lot of people and I have all different types of collaborations and stuff that over the years, I mean everybody, I've been in a studio with everybody. Like? Everybody, especially from the whole, I just have a song, just one song that has Michael and Garth Brooks and Julio Iglesias and En Vogue and Stevie Wonder and Patti LaBelle. On one song? And Elton John and Paul McCartney and Bon Jovi and Howard Hewitt and Babyface and Heavy D and Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass. On one song? Luther Vandross, yes, this one song with all these different, Janet Jackson.

And is the world ever gonna hear that? I never put it out as a single. It was on one of my albums that people never heard. I think it's up on YouTube. I think somebody found it and put pictures up so you can tell who's, whenever the person's singing, you can see their face and they put it up.

It's a song called Yeah, I did years ago. But all those people are on it. I left half the people out just now.

Everybody's on that record. What do you think in your 40 years in show business? What have you learned? Oh, so much. There's nothing that you can say in a sentence.

So much. But just in life in general, you know, show business isn't the be all and the end all. Show business is kind of, you know, what I do, and how I keep the lights on and how I provide for my family.

The person is at the center of that. And the experiences that I've learned, you know, just as a human being, but just as vast or more than, you know, the stuff that I learned from show business. Show business is just my gig. If you could give advice or tell that young Eddie Murphy starting out something about the world and what to expect, is there something you would say? No, you know, the young Eddie Murphy wasn't taking advice from anybody.

It really wasn't. There's nothing that you could say to him to get him off of what he was doing. I haven't had any experiences where I feel like they damaged me to the core and I should warn the young me. I would never have done this.

I don't have anything like that. And I've mastered the art of walking away from the crashed plane. You know, the plane crashes and burns. I've mastered surviving it and walking from the wreckage and never looking back. You never look back at the wreckage. Give me an example of that. What's the time when the plane crashed? Oh, I'm talking about, you know, you have movies that don't work.

You know, I've went through divorce, you know, things like that. And the key is walk away. Don't look at the wreckage. Don't focus on the wreckage. Never look back at the wreckage. Point is winning. There are bad people in the world. The best way to protect the good people is to convict the bad. So here's to us. The Good Fight, the final season, now streaming exclusively on Paramount+.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 06:40:44 / 2023-01-28 06:48:55 / 8

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