In a chat with Vulture before last night’s Tribeca Film Festival red-carpet gala for Shrek Forever After, Eddie Murphy said something interesting: “I’ve lost a lot of my cool and edge…I think my cool and edge are gone.” No! After doing the overpaid superstar asshole trip for the last 23 or 24 years (starting with his role in 1986’s The Golden Child) which culminated with exiting the ’07 Oscar ceremony after he didn’t win for Best Supporting Actor in Dreamgirls, Murphy is actually copping to this possibility?
“You know, I think I’m onto some other place,” he added. “Whatever my edge or cool was back then, I’m onto some other area. I don’t know what it is. I’m thinking about getting into stand-up, see what comes up.”
That may be red-carpet b.s., but it’s still the most genuinely appealing comment I’ve heard Murphy say since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Speaking as one who saw him do his stand-up act twice in the early ’80s (once at Catch a Rising Star in Manhattan, the other at the Universal Amphitheatre in ’83), this seems like the smartest thing he could possibly do at this stage. The only thing, really, that that inject something vital into his veins and his soul. He’s been Charles Foster Kane living behind the gates of Xanadu and wearing that smug-ass, “I’m rich and you’re not” expression for an awful long time. But that kid I saw perform 27, 28 years ago was alive on the planet.