IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Eddie Murphy reveals why he stopped making movies for nearly a decade

The funnyman opened up on Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast about what propelled him to "take a break" in 2011.
/ Source: TODAY

“Trading Places.” “Coming to America.” “Beverly Hills Cop.” There was a time when Eddie Murphy could do no wrong in his films.

And then there was a time when he could do no right.

Watch TODAY All Day! Get the best news, information and inspiration from TODAY, all day long.

Murphy, 59, who can currently be seen in “Coming 2 America” — the highly anticipated sequel to his beloved 1988 comedy, “Coming to America" — said he intentionally stopped making movies in 2011 after a string of flops that were so critically panned they earned him Golden Raspberry Awards (also known as Razzies), which honor the worst in cinema each year.

“I was making these s----- movies,” Murphy said on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. “I was like, ‘This s--- ain’t fun. They’re giving me Razzies. Motherf------ gave me the "worst actor ever" Razzie.' It was like, ‘Maybe it’s time to take a break.’”

"Norbit" was one of Murphy's films that didn't land with moviegoers or critics in 2007.
"Norbit" was one of Murphy's films that didn't land with moviegoers or critics in 2007.Courtesy Dreamworks

Some of Murphy's poorly received films include “Norbit,” “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” and “Meet Dave.” According to IndieWire, the actor has won three Razzies, including worst actor of the decade in 2010, and he secured nine other nominations, although, to be fair, he did pick up the redeemer award in 2020 for 2019’s “Dolemite Is My Name.”

The funnyman, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role in the 2006 movie "Dreamgirls," kept a low profile in the 2010s. After 2012’s “A Thousand Words,” he would only appear on the big screen in the drama “Mr. Church” in 2016 before returning in “Dolemite Is My Name.” He also received rave reviews on the small screen when he won his first Emmy award for hosting "Saturday Night Live" in 2019.

Murphy said he never intended for his film absence to last so long.

“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’m like, I kinda could sit on this couch and not get off it," he said. "But I don’t want to leave it the last bunch of s--- they see me do is bull----, so let me get off the couch and do some stuff and remind them that I’m funny.”

“Then if I want to come back to the couch again, I could do that," he added. "So, the plan was to go do ‘Dolemite,’ ‘Saturday Night Live,’ do ‘Coming 2 America,’ and then do stand-up and then see how I felt afterwards. And then at least they’ll know I’m funny.”

Murphy was one of the biggest stars in the world in the 1980s, appearing on “Saturday Night Live,” starring in hit movies and performing stand-up comedy, which he said he stopped doing when he was 28. Returning to the stage to do stand-up was not that far away from happening before the pandemic hit, either.

“We had dates, we had a tour lined up,” he said.

Murphy also said he is anxious to get back onstage.

“I’m curious to see what will it be like ‘cause I was a baby when I did it before.”