Eddie Murphy is a busy dude. He’s returning to host a highly-anticipated “Saturday Night Live” this weekend for the first time in 35 years, and he’s on the awards circuit doing chores to promote his wonderful Netflix comedy film “Dolemite Is My Name,” for which he is a Best Actor Academy Awards contender. Recently, Murphy stopped by “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” ahead of his “SNL” gig, and the stand-up comedian turned actor shared a surprising story about his connection to Robert Zemeckis’ groundbreaking animated film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” from 1988. Watch the full Jimmy Fallon conversation below.
First, Fallon asked Murphy to confirm the lore that Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis wanted him to star in the original “Ghostbusters,” from 1984. “Yes, because I did ‘Beverly Hills Cop,'” he said to the audience. “It wasn’t like I turned it down, in as much as I wasn’t available because I did this other movie. The only movie that I have turned down that became a big hit was ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’…I was going to be the Bob Hoskins dude,” Murphy said. “I was like, what? Animation and people sounds like bullshit to me. Now every time I see it, I feel like an idiot.”
Indeed, the live-action-animated noir hybrid “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” not only topped $329 million at the box office, it also won three Academy Awards in recognition of its unique visual and sound effects.
Murphy also talked about how Marlon Brando called and asked to have dinner with him after the release of “48 Hours,” Walter Hill’s 1982 action thriller. Murphy said that during their meeting, Brando reenacted one of his tough-guy scenes. “Damn, Marlon Brando!”
Murphy also talked about an encounter with Prince at the pop star’s mansion: “It was two or three in the morning and we were at his house and Prince asks, ‘Who wants to go roller skating?’ I was like, ‘What?’ We went to this roller rink at three in the morning,” Murphy said. “You know how some sneakers, when you walk they would light up? He had skates that when he skated, they would light up.”
For Craig Brewer’s 1970s-set “Dolemite Is My Name,” Murphy recently nabbed a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.