NEW YORK – Brett Ratner has seemingly done the impossible this awards season. With one move, convincing his “Tower Heist” star Eddie Murphy to host the Oscars, he’s made the industry and public generally intrigued about watching this year’s Academy Awards. And after last year’s disastrous production that’s no easy feat. The news also excited many old school Murphy fans waiting for yet another comeback from the iconic comedian. Whether that occurs with “Tower Heist” remains to be seen, but during a press conference for the comedy thriller in New York today, Murphy’s hosting duties became an obvious subject for discussion.
“I’m looking forward to doing it and I promise I’ll stay there all night,” Murphy cracked. The joke was of course a reference to Murphy’s infamous departure from the 2007 show when he got up and left after losing the best supporting actor Oscar to Alan Arkin.
The “Beverly Hills Cop” star hasn’t hosted an awards program since the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards, but while he hasn’t worked on any new material because “no ones got nominated yet,” he insists he isn’t getting cold feet about one of the toughest gigs in show business.
“I don’t really get nervous,” Murphy insists. “Oscars is a fun thing to do. I don’t feel the pressure. I get to introduce people and stand up straight. Maybe I’ll be in a couple silly sketches or something.”
Surprisingly, Rather didn’t elaborate on what he and Murphy might have already discussed about the show. In fact, the “Heist” director didn’t speak about his controversial Academy Awards producing gig whatsoever. But, as any previous executive producer of the Oscars will tell you off the record, there is always a laundry list of the same people who are asked to host every year and most of those candidates politely decline. Murphy’s name has been on and off that list many times over the years. When asked why the 50-year-old actor decided to accept Ratner’s offer now, Murphy insisted, “Never got to it. I’ve only been to the Oscars two or three times in 30 years.”
Murphy added, “I stay in the house a lot, guys.”
“Tower Heist” opens Nov. 5 nationwide. The 84th Academy Awards will be held on Feb. 26, 2012 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood and broadcast live on ABC beginning at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST.
Katie Hasty contributed to this report.
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