Eddie Murphy on reviving Axel Foley, fatherhood

Actor and comedian Eddie Murphy always knew he was destined for fame. He was so confident in his future success that as a child, he would tell his mother how his name would one day be in lights. 

“I knew I was gonna be famous,” he told “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King. “When I got famous, it was like, ‘See, I told you’.”

Calling Murphy famous might be an understatement. He is an icon with four decades of blockbuster films. His journey to stardom was cemented with his breakout role as Axel Foley in “Beverly Hills Cop,” which held the No. 1 spot at the box office for 14 weeks in 1984. The film’s global success helped establish him as a leading actor and marked a significant moment in Hollywood for Black actors.

Reprising Axel Foley

Murphy is set to reprise his famous role in the upcoming “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.”

Reflecting on the experience, he described it as surreal, especially reuniting with the original cast after 42 years. The physical demands of the role, however, proved more challenging at his current age of 63. 

“I don’t run and jump with the same ease and grace that I did when I was 21,” he said. 

To help with the physical demands, Murphy filmed a lot of the scenes behind the wheel.

“It’s like I don’t have to do as much ’cause I’m just sitting or driving,” he said.

In this latest installment, Axel Foley is now a father, adding a new layer to the character. Murphy said there is a powerful moment in the film where Foley’s daughter confronts him about their strained relationship. 

“That’s going to hit a bunch of people watching the movie,” he said.

Murphy, a father of ten, said he has a close relationship with all his children, whose ages range from 5 to 34. He said that he has always been the same type of father – a laid-back, cool dad who isn’t a strict disciplinarian but doesn’t let his kids get away with too much. He’s always been present for important events like school plays. His younger children, he said, are more wild and loud compared to his older kids.

Connection with Martin Lawrence

Murphy’s family life also includes a unique connection with fellow comedian Martin Lawrence, as Murphy’s son, Eric, is dating Lawrence’s daughter, Jasmin. Murphy approves of the relationship and said it has sparked light-hearted speculation about their future grandchildren. 

“I’m expecting the child, if they ever get married and have a child, I’m expecting the child to be funny,” he said.

Aside from acting, Murphy has a passion for music. Known for his hit “Party All the Time,” he continues to write and record music, though he has chosen to keep most of it private. He hinted that his music might be released long after he is gone. 

“Fifty years from now posthumously, so to come out and people can listen to it and be like, wow, we didn’t even know Eddie Murphy,” he said.

Return to Stand-Up Comedy?

When asked about returning to stand-up comedy, Murphy said he has mixed feelings because of how many comedians there are today and wondered how he could distinguish himself.

However, if he does do a show, he envisions one that combines comedy, music, and storytelling. 

“I see something like that more than just doing stand-up,” he said.

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