What James Brown Wanted From Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy may have modeled his award-winning performance in ?Dreamgirls? in part on James Brown, but he tells Access Hollywood he was asked to go one step further by the late Godfather of soul.

?James Brown said to me years ago ?If they ever do my life, you got to play my story,?? he recounted to Access? Shaun Robinson this weekend. ?I said, ‘James, if I do you, people will be laughing.? [He said] ?They ain’t gonna laugh if you don’t try to be funny.?”

Murphy told Access he?s a bit too senior to play the early days of the legendary and limber soul star who was known for his fits of athleticism on stage.

?I couldn’t do James Brown now until he got [to] 40, ‘cause I’m 45,? he laughed. ?I’ll be 46 in April and I’m not doin’ no splits and no sh** like that and rippin’ my ass out tryin’ to make no movie. The split days are gone.?

Famously, Murphy used to parody Brown during his tenure on ?Saturday Night Live? in the 1980s. Though his forty-something limbs may not be able to handle the kinds of animation he did during SNL, Murphy refuted the idea of now employing a stunt dancer to claim the role on the big screen.

?[With] James, you can’t have a double come in, you gotta really do it,? he said. ?You can’t have somebody else do it & then cut to me going ‘Heh!’ You gotta really have me do it.?

Murphy?s new film ?Norbit,? opens in theatres February 9th.

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