Eddie Murphy Says Marlon Brando Once Told Him That ‘Acting Is Bulls—‘ and ‘I Can’t Stand That Kid’ Clint Eastwood: ‘Everybody Can Act’

Eddie Murphy revealed on The New York Times’ “The Interview” podcast that Marlon Brando told him that “acting is bullshit, when Murphy’s star profile was on the rise in the wake of “48 Hrs.” Murphy was a known comedian at the time thanks to his stint on “Saturday Night Live,” but “48 Hrs.” was his first movie role and started his ascent as a film star. “Trading Places” and “Beverly Hills Cop” followed and cemented his status.

“I was having these famous people that I grew up watching on television wanting to have a meal with me,” Murphy remembered about becoming famous in Hollywood. “After ’48 Hrs.’ Marlon Brando calls my agent and wants to meet me. Now I look back and go, ‘Wow, that’s crazy: The greatest actor of all time wants to have dinner with you!’ But back then I just thought, ‘Well, that’s the way it is: You make a movie, and Marlon Brando calls.'”

More from Variety

Murphy said that he met Brando twice for dinner. The first time was at the L’Ermitage hotel in Los Angeles. The second time was at Brando’s house.

“He came and picked me up at the hotel. But there was a time mix-up, and I came down like a half-hour late — he was waiting for me in the car,” Murphy said. “We went to his house on Mulholland; I was just going on and on about ‘The Godfather,’ and he was like, ‘Eh, “The Godfather.”‘ Not just ‘The Godfather’ — acting. He was like, ‘Acting is bullshit, and everybody can act.'”

“This is how long ago it was: He was going, ‘I can’t stand that kid with the gun,'” Murphy added. “I was like, ‘What kid with the gun?’ He said, ‘He’s on the poster!’ I was like, ‘Clint Eastwood?” ‘Yeah, that guy!’ He was calling Clint Eastwood ‘that kid.'”

Directed by Walter Hill, “48 Hrs.” paired Murphy opposite Nick Nolte. The two actors played a cop and a convict who team up to catch two criminals. The film was a box office hit for Paramount. Murphy would return for the 1990 sequel “Another 48 Hrs.” He’s currently on a press tour for “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F,” the fourth movie in the “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise. Murphy first played the detective Axel Foley in the 1984 original, which was the highest-grossing movie of the year with $234 million worldwide.

Head over to The New York Times’ website to read Murphy’s interview in its entirety.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.