Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! revealing new details about casting in the 1988 classic comedy film, Coming to America, ahead of the sequel’s release this Friday (March 5).
Late night tv host, Jimmy Kimmel asked about comic Louie Anderson’s participation the film franchise. Murphy and Hall disclose that Anderson was casted because Paramount Pictures practically forced them to include a White actor. In the original movie, Anderson portrays Maurice, an employee at the fictional fast-food restaurant McDowell’s.
“I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,” Hall said on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “We were forced to put a white person.”
“[T]he whole cast is Black — and this was back in the ‘80s — so [Paramount] was like, ‘We have to have a white person! There has to be a white person in the movie,’” Murphy added. “So it was, ‘Who’s the funniest white guy around?’ And Louie, we knew him. We was cool with him. So that’s how Louie got in the movie.”
Hall detailed that Paramount presented a list of three white performers and said, “Who would you rather work with?” Asked by Kimmel if he remembered the other two options, Hall laughed and said, “Oh, yeah. But I can’t say.”
Anderson responded to a similar anecdote Murphy shared with NBC’s Today show.
“Wait what?” he sarcastically tweeted, alluding to discovering the news for the first time.
Louie will return alongside comedy duo Hall and Murphy in the sequel, Coming 2 America.
New comic additions joining the royal saga family are Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan, who was initially casted in the sequel as Prince Akeem’s son before it was determined that Morgan, 52, was far too old to play the onscreen child of a 59 year old Eddie Murphy.
“We wrote two, three versions of the script, and then we started thinking … ‘Will people believe that Tracy is me and Leslie’s child?” Murphy said. “He looks like he’s our age. And then we started thinking about it differently.”
“And Jimmy, I would drop hints because I never liked that idea,” Hall added. “I love Tracy. I wanted him in it. But I would say to Eddie, ‘Hey, maybe for the third one, Morgan Freeman can be your son.’”
The 15-minute interview is full of gems between the comedic legends about their friendship and highly anticipated follow-up the cult classic film. Be sure to catch the sequel, Coming 2 America, on Amazon Prime this Friday. Check out Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall on Jimmy Kimmel Live! below.