Eddie Murphy shares why he wasn't going give daughter 'Coming 2 America' role unless she auditioned

The two play father and daughter in the film.

ByAngeline Jane Bernabe and Cameron Harrison via via logo
February 25, 2021, 8:34 AM

With many anticipating the arrival of “Coming 2 America” next week, Eddie Murphy and his daughter spoke with “Good Morning America” about the upcoming film that they both star in.

The film, which is a sequel to the first from more than three decades ago, stars Eddie who reprises his role as Prince Akeem. Bella Murphy plays his daughter, Omma.

But while Bella plays Eddie’s daughter in real life, Eddie was adamant about not having the role handed to Bella just because she’s his daughter.

“She had to audition for Craig Brewer, who directed the movie,” said Eddie. “I wasn’t musclin’ my kid into the movie. She had to really be able to -- you know, to deliver. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have gotten the role.”

“I just wanted to be good,” Bella said. “I didn’t want people to watch it and be like, ‘Oh, that must be his daughter ‘cause she can’t keep up with everyone else.’ You know what I mean?”

“I just really wanted to do the best that I could,” she added. “And I’m really proud with how it turned out.”

Bella told “Good Morning America” that the first time she saw the film was when she was a kid. She remembers being moved by the film, which features a Black cast.

“I think when I watched it for the first time, I was really young,” said Bella. “And it was the first time I’ve ever seen Black royalty on screen. And on top of it, it was my dad. So that already was super impactful for me and very empowering.”

Over the years, “Coming to America” has developed a growing fan base. When it came time to make the sequel, Eddie said everyone that worked on the first film was easily on board.

“Everybody was gung-ho because the movie became this cult picture,” he said. “And everybody that was involved in the first movie had warm feelings toward the movie.”

“Coming 2 America” premieres March 5 on Amazon Prime.

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