Eddie Murphy stepped away from the Oscars hosting job earlier this year when Brett Ratner resigned from producing the show, but the funnyman hopes one day to steer Hollywood’s biggest night.
“It’s still something that I would like to do one day, because all the best comics have done it,” Eddie told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson as he promoted his new film, “A Thousand Words,” in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “It’s one of the few things I haven’t done in my 35 years in this business, so I would like to have that be part of my resume as well.”
Eddie backed off the Oscars hosting gig after Brett, his director in “Tower Heist,” resigned following comments the director made at a screening of the film in Los Angeles that prompted outcries of being homophobic.
Billy Crystal stepped in to the vacant hosting gig under 2012 Oscar producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer and Eddie – who said he watched “some” of the show — told Shaun the veteran Academy Awards host did an excellent job.
“I thought Billy did a wonderful job. Billy’s done it so many times, he can’t not do a good job,” Eddie told Shaun. “He’s really solid at that.”
Some critics suggested the show could have used more punch and Eddie actually revealed to Shaun his original plan, under Brett, was to make the show “pop.”
“The other award shows — the Grammys and the American Music Awards — all those music shows, they pop. So there’s no reason why the Oscars can’t pop too. You’ve got 10 songs that are up for Song of the Year, so you should have killer musical performances and so the show should be moving and Brett had all these ideas about it,” Eddie explained. “He was really gonna direct the Oscars… When he finished telling me about it, [I] was like, ‘Yeah! Let’s do it!’ and that’s what I got excited about doing – like a hipper, faster, choppier version of the show.”
Eddie also confirmed there was an idea to incorporate him into this year’s Oscars, a plan that never made it to fruition.
“We thought about it… We were like, ‘Let’s come up with something to do,’ and I guess we never came up with anything,” he said. “But maybe… if they ask me again, maybe I’ll do it… one day.”
In the meantime, Eddie is promoting his film “A Thousand Words,” playing a man who has a limited amount of time left, dictated by the leaves remaining on a bodhi tree, which loses a leaf every time he speaks.
“I thought it might be a challenge to do something where you… couldn’t speak, because all of my characters talk too much. So, I was like, ‘What happens if I can’t talk?’” Eddie said.
The movie also stars Kerry Washington as his wife, Caroline McCall, and she has a scene set to get pulses racing in theaters.
“She looks good, she looks good in her drawers, in her movie drawers,” Eddie said. “I’ve never seen her actual real drawers, but her movie drawers, she’s exquisite.”
Speaking of his own romantic life, Eddie shot down rumors that he’s dating singer Toni Braxton.
“I don’t even know who the new love is. I know I’m single and I ‘m just up at the house, playing the guitar and being a single dad,” he told Shaun, before she had a chance to tell him which lady he was being linked with by the press.
“Toni and I are just friends,” Eddie added, when Shaun mentioned the Grammy winner’s name. “I went to her show, and we’re friends and she’s a very, very sweet girl, but we’re just friends.”
“A Thousand Words” opens on March 9 at 2012.