Murphy at the Tribeca Film Festival for Shrek Forever After in 2010.
|Birth name||Edward Regan Murphy|
April 3, 1961 |
Brooklyn, New York, United States
|Medium||Film, television, stand-up, music|
|Genres||Observational comedy, musical comedy, blue comedy, black comedy, political satire, physical comedy, dance-pop, insult comedy|
|Subject(s)||African American culture, race relations, racism, marriage, sex, everyday life, pop culture, current events|
|Spouse||Nicole Mitchell (m. 1993â€“2006)|
|Partner(s)||Mel B (2006â€“07)
Tracey Edmonds (2008)
Paige Butcher (2012â€“present)
|Relative(s)||Charlie Murphy (brother)|
I'm the artist when I'm doing music that I am when I'm acting. I'm everything.
If you have a flop movie, so what? And if you have a hit movie, it's 'so what,' too – it's on to the next movie.
In the original script, my character was a basketball player rather than a boxer. I didn't think I could pull that off. I'm a little short to be a basketball player!
I'd like to produce, direct, write, score, and star in a film in exactly the way Chaplin did. I'll do that before I'm thirty.
I'm kind of long in the tooth to fly in in a cape now, so I'd have to be, like, the voice of reason or somebody. 'Don't do that, super-fellow!'
You know why they think I'm reclusive? I don't do the Hollywood stuff. I've never been on the circuit.
'Nutty Professor' was me going, 'Say what you want to say, but I can do this, and you can't, and nobody else in the town can do this.'
I haven't read a newspaper in 20 years. I don't look at the computer or anything. You have to have a filter on what you let in.
The economy in Ireland has been rampaging ahead for the last 15 years. Barring an international, political or natural catastrophe, things can only get better for the Irish.
Ultimately, when I go back to the stage, I want to be able to do everything. I want to be able to do music and comedy and all that stuff; that's what all this stuff is leading to.
I only want to do what I really want to do; otherwise, I'm content to sit here and play my guitar all day.
If I don't die in a plane crash or something, this country has a rare opportunity to watch a great talent grow.
I had a band before I did standup – I've always done music. I got known for being funny, and that's how I make a living – and from acting – but I never stopped playing and producing and recording music.
I leave my house all the time! But I'm not at all the Hollywood parties. I'm grown, and where else am I supposed to be? I'm supposed to be home.
I don't know what my Death Row meal would be. I'm surprised that people can even eat when they're on Death Row.
I've always had confidence. It came because I have lots of initiative. I wanted to make something of myself.
Making movies is time-consuming and it's boring. You spend most of your time waiting between takes. It's like a big machine that moves slowly.
I've made 30 movies and for the most part my movies work. In a business where success is an exception and not the rule, I've mostly been successful.
I never hated hip-hop. It became the new rock and roll. It became the biggest thing that Africans have ever done in the history of the Americas. Hip-hop put more black Americans on than anything before it. It fed more people. It allowed them to diversify into clothing lines and billion-dollar headphone companies.
I used to be the hippest of them all. I used to know everything about everything. I used to read about everything that was going on, and I knew everybody's name and anybody in pop culture. Anything that was written about me, I would read.
I think I have enough of a sense to know what works for me and what doesn't, without going into some big thing and analyzing what I do. I'm in a position that allows me to do what I want to do, and I do it.
I started out as an impressionist and that's all about observing – how people move, their voice quality, their attitudes and quirks.
From the very beginning, I always tried to make dialogue flow comfortably; I always did that to make it seem more authentic.
My first concert makes me sound like a real old man. My very first concert was Jackie Wilson.
As you get older, you get different, and I'm a mushier, softer person as I get older.
If you're involved in with something that's original, you know, you'll always go back and try to rehash it.
I'm 42 and the age of a guy who has kids, so I guess I'm playing right where I'm supposed to be. I'm comfortable with that, but in the same breath I'd do something edgy. If someone came to me and offered me an edgy and funny story, then I'd do it.
You know, making a movie is a collaborative effort and sometimes all the ingredients don't work out. I know that every now and again I am going to make a movie that won't work.
Growing up, I liked all the stuff that everyone else was listening to, like Motown, but the biggest group of all was The Beatles.
I can go to a country song, go right into it and make it sound authentic. And I think that's because of my ear as an impressionist.
I love 'Trading Places,' but 'Coming to America' has one of the things I like to do – I like the multiple characters.
The same way you can see me sit at a table in a movie and be six different people, the mother and the uncle and all these different things, when I'm in the studio, I can do that, too. I'm not trying to be a recording artist and have a certain type of music for the radio.
There's this little box that African-American actors have to work in, in the first place, and I was able to rise above that box. I could have done a bunch of movies where I stayed as the Axel Foley or Reggie Hammond persona. But I didn't want to be doing the same thing all the time. Every now and then, you crash and burn, but that's part of it.
I've been a big Bob Marley fan forever. Forever. Like big, huge. Bob Marley and the Beatles, that's my big, giant music influence. I can listen to them all the time.
There's a bunch of places in the world I haven't been to, 'cause I can only be on a plane for a little bit. I'm like, 'How long is it to get there? Two days on a plane? What? No.'
Getting divorced didn't sour me on the institution of marriage. I'll tell you what I'll never do: I'll never get divorced again.
The thing about kids is that they express emotion. They don't hold back. If they want to cry, they cry, and if they are in a good mood, they're in a good mood.
After all these years, I've done well and I'm cool. I feel comfortable in my skin, I've saved some paper, everybody's healthy, my kids are beautiful and smart, doing different things, it's all good.
I started out as a stand-up comedian. And that's what I'm most comfortable doing.
Being on 'SNL' gives you a unique experience that almost no one else has. It's like Harvard for the comic actor.
In a movie like this, the relationship between the two guys is crucial. It sinks or swims on how these two guys are together. I think we did a good job.
I don't think more concentration is required for Robert De Niro to do what he does as for Jim Carrey to do what he does.
Every now and then, when I think about it, I think, 'What would I even talk about onstage?' It's never been, 'I wonder if I'm funny. I wonder if I can come up with jokes.' It's more, 'What would it be like without the leather suit and the anger?'
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.
I'm not performing anymore. I reveal myself to the audience. I reveal myself. That's the show now.
I stopped doing standup because it stopped being fun. And the reason it stopped being fun was it was harder to write – and this was before the Internet – it was harder to write new stuff. It had gotten so crazy.
'SNL' is part of my history. I got on the show as a kid. That's the show I got known from.
If you interact with anyone, ultimately, all people are the same. However they're dressed, when you're in the house with a person, they're going to be a regular human being.
I'm relaxed about my career. I've been making movies for over 20 years, so I've earned at least the right to relax.
The studios gotta start making more stuff where black folks get quality stuff. But I can't trip about that because I've been making movies for 35 years, and I've played everything from an old lady to a donkey, so I can't be on here talking about, 'They don't give us enough roles' and diversity.
I'm a comedian who got into movies, so I don't really think of myself as an actor.
However wack anyone thought 'Whatzupwitu' was, there's not a lot of people that have footage of themselves dancing around in the clouds with Michael Jackson. I do have that forever.
You know, if you look all my stuff… If you go back to 'Saturday Night Live,' my stuff always has music, even a bunch of my comedy stuff – like in 'Shrek,' the donkey is always singing. Music is always there.