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Eddie Murphy to Make Movie In Kampala

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Eddie Murphy to Make Movie Here

New Vision (Kampala)
March 19, 2004
Posted to the web March 19, 2004

African-AMERICAN film star Eddie Murphy is expected in Kampala in June this year where he will be shooting two films with John Amos' company.

Amos will be returning with his son K.C Amos and John Harris his technical director.

"Yes, I intend to come to Uganda in about three months time," Amos, who is based in California, USA, told The New Vision in an email interview.

The Vice President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, on a recent tour of Katomi near Entebbe said he was aware of Murphy's impending visit to Uganda and promised to assist where necessary.

"If these Americans come here for serious business, then that is very nice. I have to make sure I get involved in securing them land such that they are not cheated.

"All along, our cry has been for serious investors so we have to utilise this chance," Bukenya said.

It is because of Uganda's beautiful scenery; the animals, forests, and mountains shot by Amos, that Murphy felt compelled to come to Uganda.

Abbey Walusimbi, who organised the American business delegates' visit, part of which Amos was, says many Americans are interested in investing here due to unlimited potential.

Meanwhile Sebidde Kiryowa writes, "Eddie is a naturally funny human being with an uncanny sense of timing. He cracked us up behind the scenes all the time. We couldn't wait to get to work.

He is a true comedic genius whose talents know no boundary. He played about four to five different characters portrayed them so convincingly (with the help of prosthetics), we sometimes did not know who he was on the set. I almost got into a fight with him one time, thinking he was an idler."

That was veteran African-American actor John Amos' response to my question about how it was like working with Eddie Murphy on the set of the 1988 blockbuster Coming To America, during his recent visit to Uganda.

Amos' response highlights a major benchmark in Eddie Murphy's career, playing multiple roles in the same film, a feat not many thespians can lay claim to in cinema. He has portrayed multiple roles in the same movie, probably more than any other actor in history, the most outstanding being Coming To America, The Nutty Professor, and Nutty Professor: The Klumps. Eddie Murphy has also starred in more sequels (follow-ups) than any other actor: Beverly Hills Cop II, Another 48 Hrs, Doctor Dolittle 2, Nutty Professor: The Klumps, and Shrek II.

All these movies, with the exception the latter, which has not yet been released, were big in Uganda; with Doctor Dolittle 2 and Nutty Professor: The Klumps being relative successes at Cineplex Cinema.

"He is one of the biggest African-American crowd-pullers for us. He is funny and people who like comedy here in Kampala like Eddie Murphy. He is in the same league as Chris Tucker, only better. I could put him up there with Denzel Washington, only that he is a comedian. When we get an Eddie Murphy movie, we know we are definitely not making a box office loss. In fact, in 2001, Nutty Proffessor: The Klumps, was the biggest film in Uganda, grossing more money at our box office than any other movie," says Sidney Mukasa, Cineplex cinema's marketing manager.

Cineplex is Uganda's premier movie house and the only valid measure of a film's box office success in Kampala, and Uganda.

Mukasa says Showtime and Dr Doctor Dolittle were the other box office successes from Eddie Murphy. All his other movies, he says, have been relative successes.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 3, 1961, Murphy's father died when he was quite young, and he was raised by his mother, a telephone company employee, and his stepfather, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant, along with his brother and step-brother.

Eddie began studying to sharpen his abilities, he took classes at a local community college to improve his observations, and he watched and listened to everything that comedian Richard Pryor did and said. In the meantime, he worked as a shoe salesman.

His comic talent was evident from an early age and by 15, he was writing and performing his own routines at youth centres and local bars, as well as at the Roosevelt High School auditorium, where his sense of humour and wit made him a stand out amongst his classmates. Eventually, Murphy made it to a Manhattan showcase, The Comic Strip.

The club's co-owners, Robert Wachs and Richard Tienken, were so impressed with Murphy's ability that they agreed to manage his career. Wachs and Tienken succeeded in getting Murphy an audition for the new cast of the TV show Saturday Night Live in 1975.

Murphy was eventually signed as a featured player, but by the end of the first season of the new show, he had moved up to star status. Here, Murphy exercised his comedic abilities in impersonating African-American figures and originating some of the show's most memorable characters.

Murphy made his feature film debut in 48 Hrs, alongside Nick Nolte. The two's comedic and antagonistic chemistry, coupled with Murphy's believable performance as a street wise convict aiding a bitter, aging cop, won over critics and audiences. Trading Places, his follow-up film, enjoyed a great deal of success as well.

The next year, Murphy pairing up with John Landis, who later became a frequent collaborator with Murphy in Coming to America and the third installment of his 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop. Beverly Hills Cop was the film that made Murphy a box office superstar, and most notably made him a celebrity worldwide.

It remains one of the all-time biggest blockbusters in motion picture history in the US. Murphy's performance as a young Detroit cop in pursuit of his friend's murderers earned him a third consecutive Golden Globe nomination. Axel Foley became one of Murphy's signature characters. Murphy was on top of his game.

Then, suddenly, his box office appeal and bad choices in scripts saw Murphy's career diminish. The late '80s and early '90s were tough times for Eddie Murphy at the box office.

Films like The Golden Child and Beverly Hills Cop II were condemned by critics, but were still massive hits at the box office. But in 1989, Murphy, coming off another hit Coming to America found failure with his directorial debut Harlem Nights.

The sequel to 48 Hrs and his turn as a hopeless romantic in Boomerang did little to breathe new life into his career. Several wrote him off, but Eddie Murphy returned with a boom, in 1996's The Nutty Professor.

From there, the 5ft 10inch Murphy rebounded with occasional hits and misses, but has long proven himself as a skilled comedic actor, with an applaudable range pertaining to characterisations and mannerisms.

Though he has grown up a lot since his fast-lane rise as a superstar in the 1980s, Murphy has lived the Hollywood lifestyle with controversy, criticism, scandal, and the admiration of millions worldwide for his talents.

As Murphy had matured throughout the years, learning many lessons about the Hollywood game in the process he starred in Mulan, Bowfinger, and the animated smash Shrek.

According to www.movieweb.com, inspite of being vocal in interviews about his career, Eddie Murphy continues to live a happy life with his wife and kids and has said if his career were to end tomorrow he would be content just being with his family.

Murphy, who dated Whitney Houston before she married Bobby Brown, is married to Nicole Mitchell (since March 18, 1993), an associate with Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.

He has five children, three with Nicole: Zola Ivy, Miles and daughters Bria, Shayne and Bella Zahra.
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