Eddie Murphy Poster

Quotes (28)

  • [in 1985] I'd like to produce, direct, write, score, and star in a film in exactly the way [Charles Chaplin] did. I'll do that before I'm thirty.
  • Every bad decision I've made has been based on money. I grew up in the projects and you don't turn down money there. You take it, because you never know when it's all going to end. I made [Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)] because they offered me $15 million. That $15 million was worth having Roger Ebert's thumb up my ass.
  • I started out as an impressionist and that's all about observing - how people move, their voice quality, their attitudes and quirks.
  • [on why he accepted a part in Best Defense (1984)] The door opened and four guys came in carrying a check.
  • That's my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went to my house, you'd see pictures all over of Elvis. He's just the greatest entertainer that ever lived. And I think it's because he had such presence. When Elvis walked into a room, Elvis Presley was in the fucking room. I don't give a fuck who was in the room with him---[Humphrey Bogart], Marilyn Monroe.
  • If you're involved in with something that's original, you know, you'll always go back and try to rehash it.
  • The advice I would give to someone is to not take anyone's advice.
  • I keep telling people I'll make movies until I'm fifty and then I'll go and do something else. I'm going to be a professional gentleman of leisure.
  • The only reason I did Showtime (2002) was Robert De Niro. I definitely consider him to be in the top 5 all time best actors.
  • [on rumours he will play The Riddler in the next Batman movie] I would love to be in one of those Batman movies. Jim Carrey did The Riddler once and he did a wonderful job. Egghead, I could be Egghead.
  • [on Dan Aykroyd] Robotic the way he handles people: "Ah, yes, good to meet you." Very straightforward, very clean-cut, very polite, real nice guy.
  • [on Richard Pryor, Charles Chaplin, Bill Cosby and George Carlin being his greatest influences] I feel like those are the most brilliant comic minds ever. You can draw a line from them to anyone who's trying to do comedy - or just be funny - today, including me.
  • I know what I'm capable of doing and what I'm capable of not doing. To be perfectly honest, I'm a little afraid of doing a straight dramatic film. I'm not saying I couldn't do it. I'm saying I'm afraid to. Everyone is afraid of failure.
  • With the success that I've had and the money that I make, if I and a white man went out to get a cab together, the cab wouldn't stop for me. It would stop for the white man.
  • [on why he lost his trademark laugh] I don't laugh like that anymore, somehow it doesn't come out. It's weird to change something that's as natural as that. But it started out as a real laugh, then it turned into people laughing because they thought my laugh was funny, and then there were a couple of times where I laughed because I knew it would make people laugh. Then it got weird. People came up to me and said, "Do that laugh," or if you laugh, someone turns around and goes, "Eddie?" I just stopped doing it.
  • [on what his younger self would think of his family films] Would the 27-year-old have wondered what I was doing in Doctor Dolittle (1998)? No. Or in those Shrek (2001) movies? No. But, you know, both the 27-year-old and the 48-year-old was like, "Why am I in Imagine That (2009)?" The movie didn't have a chance at the box office - it's just me and this little girl and a blanket.
  • [on being the biggest star from Saturday Night Live (1975)] That's only because John Belushi's dead. Belushi's like Spanky of the Little Rascals series. I guess that makes me Stymie, but that's cool. I'll be Stymie. Think of all the people who came off that show. I bet you could figure out the combined grosses of people who came off Saturday Night Live in the movies - me, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Mike Myers, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd. I bet it's $15 billion. It's no coincidence - that show's like Harvard for a comic actor. When you come off the show and get into the movie business, it's like you're moving in slow motion for a couple of years. You've been working like a crazy person in a pressure cooker, then you're in the movies, just sitting in your trailer.
  • [on returning to stand-up comedy] If I ever get back onstage, I'm going to have a really great show for you all - an hour and a half of stand-up and about 40 minutes of my shitty band. But I don't know. The way that used to come about, you'd be around the house, hanging out, say something funny and it'd be like, "I'm going to go to the club, try that out tonight." That still happens, but it's been a long time. I'm not that guy in the leather suit anymore. The hardest thing for comics nowadays is to find your fucking voice.
  • [on his legacy] Technology has it to where they gonna play this stuff forever. But the reality is, all this shit turns into dust, everything is temporary. No matter what you do, if you're around here long enough, you'll wind up dribbling and shitting on yourself, and you won't even remember the shit you did. I saw this documentary on Ronald Reagan, and it was like, "Whoa." They say he came into the house, and he had the toy White House that he had taken out of a fish tank, and he goes, "I don't know what I'm doing with this, but I know it has something to do with me." He had even forgotten he was the president. No matter what you do, that shit is all getting turned into gobbledy­gook. In 200 years, it's all dust, and in 300 years, it ain't nothing, and in 1,000 years, it's like you wasn't even fucking here. But if you're really, really lucky, if you really did something special, you could hang around a little longer.
  • [on Charlie Murphy] We were so different that people would see us and be like, "Y'all are brothers? I didn't know you was brothers." And Charlie was in gangs, and even now, Charlie's like extra ultramacho - piranha, pit bulls, hatchets, axes, machetes. He has a black belt in karate. I got through a lot of school because the kids knew I was his brother, nobody was fucking with me. "You don't fuck with Eddie, his brother will kill you." Charlie was a really tough guy.
  • [on scripts he receives] They'll come to you with this stuff, dialogue like "Hey, jive turkey!" Like, "you can play this irate black man." I'm going, "Hey, you have a script?" "No, that's it, you're angry with society and you beat up a Mafia person and you're friends with Drew Barrymore." It's like they had to throw in a white person there.
  • [in 1982, about Saturday Night Live (1975)] If I don't die in a plane crash or something, this country has a rare opportunity to watch a great talent grow.
  • [2015] I'm not doing anything unless the script's incredible. I did some movies where they offer you a bunch of money and you go, "OK, I'll do it!" I've done enough of those - I don't have to do them any more.
  • [2015] I just finished a movie. But it's not a comedy. It's called Mr. Church (2016), directed by Bruce Beresford. I hadn't done a movie in five years; I'd been waiting for something really special. Then this thing came along. It got me off the couch. It's about a man who's hired to cook for a dying woman for six months and becomes part of the family. You'll be hearing about it.
  • [His high school yearbook quote] In reality, all men are sculptors, constantly chipping away the unwanted parts of their lives, trying to create their idea of their masterpiece.
  • [on the hits and misses on his career] I kind of see it from a different perspective than the way you guys [journalists] may see it. In my view, I've never had a flop movie or a movie that didn't work. If I did the movie, and they paid me lots and lots of money to do it, it's a f-ing smash!". "Any movie that I was in that they paid me a lot of money for was a f-ing smash. And, to be perfectly honest, we celebrate Pluto Nash at my house. We don't have Christmas Day, we have Pluto Nash Day. And we don't have Halloween, we have Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)."
  • Well, I don't think the New Yorker will be singing the praises of Meet Dave (2008). "That was a gem!" I don't know if there's some "Pluto Nash" Appreciation Club out there. The Friends of "Holy Man" Group. The "Vampire in Brooklyn" Club.
  • I haven't read a review in, easily, 20, 25 years. I used to. I remember when Coming to America (1988) came out, Siskel and Ebert gave it two thumbs way down, saying it sucked. Then 10, 15 years later, I remember seeing them do a retrospective and they were both, "The classic 'Coming to America' blah blah blah.' The shelf life of movies changes over the years.