Eddie Murphy’s return to cinema has been a welcome one, with Dolomite Is My Name and Coming 2 America earning rave reviews from critics and movie fans alike. His stint on SNL last year was a return to form as well, and people mostly just seem thrilled that a stretch of some some less-than-stellar films seems to be behind him.
But Murphy’s legacy will always have a bit of Pluto Nash in it, and he recently admitted that the negative press and unflattering awards caused him to put his career on pause and make sure he started picking better roles. Most notably, there was a Golden Raspberry Awards honor for Worst Actor of the Decade in 2010, which made him decide to take a long break.
IndieWire recapped a Murphy appearance on Marc Maron’s podcast, which had some pretty insightful comments about what winning a Raspberry for worst actor of the decade did to him.
“I was making s*itty movies,” Murphy said. “I was like, ‘This s*it ain’t fun. They’re giving me Razzies…Motherf*ckers gave me the ‘worst actor ever’ Razzie. [So I thought], ‘Maybe it’s time to take a break.’”
That break came after an arguably impressive stretch of bad movies, which garnered him nine nominations and three wins for the likes of Norbit, The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, and Meet Dave. But that Worst Actor of the Decade Award apparently was the fruit that broke the actor’s will to appear in mediocre projects.
“I was only gonna take a break for a year, then all of a sudden six years go by, and I’m sitting on the couch, and I could sit on the couch and not get off it, but I don’t want to the last bunch of s*it they see me do [to be] bulls*it,” Murphy said. “The plan was to go do ‘Dolemite,’ ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Coming 2 America,’ and then do stand-up and see how I felt afterwards. At least then they’ll know I’m [still] funny.”
Thankfully for Murphy, that time off seems to have been well-spent recharging for what’s been a good second act to his career. And a sign that, yes, he can still be funny, even after all that cringe.