It’s not often you get a phone call from one of the best actors in Hollywood. Eddie Murphy, fresh off comedy movie 48 Hrs, received a personal invite from Marlon Brando to have dinner. It was a pleasant evening, shared with someone who’s made some of the best movies ever made, but one moment stuck out in particular.
“The most surreal moment, because I had just done 48 Hrs,” Murphy said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Kimmel. “Brando told me his favourite scene in the movie, but he was acting to me. He goes, ‘When you said ‘I’m your worst nightmare, I’m a [racial slur] with a badge, which means I got permission to kick your fuckin’ ass whenever I want’.'”
Murphy then enacts his reaction, which was a mix of terror and amazement. “I was like this,” he says, jumping back in his chair, “‘oh shit! God damn, Marlon Brando, I didn’t do it like that Marlon Brando'” Really, as great as Murphy is in 48 Hrs, Brando has a particular approach that few have ever matched.
The thriller movie, directed by Walter Hill, was notable in Murphy’s career, because it was his feature-length debut, following his rise on the stand-up circuit and work on comedy series Saturday Night Live. Truly a watershed performance, since Murphy went on to be one of the biggest actors of the ’80s, and up to now, really.
Brando was in the twilight of his career at this point, having made The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris, and war movie Apocalypse Now. He was becoming more reclusive, though absolutely not someone you’d ever leave hanging on the phone. Murphy states they hung out a few a times, and we wonder if there were any more impressions in their conversations.