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Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall Recall Paramount Forcing Them to Include a White Actor In ‘Coming to America’: ‘We Were Forced to Put Louie In It’

Anticipation is building for the March release of the follow-up to the 1988 comedy/romance film, “Coming to America,” as stars Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall make their rounds to promote the film. 

While sharing jokes, the comedic duo and real-life friends recently provided insight on how the sole white character, Maurice, in the film came to be. While on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” both men said Paramount essentially told them there needed to be a diverse hire to round out the cast.

“Coming 2 America” is set to release March 5, 2021. (Photo: Coming 2 America
trailer/Amazon Prime)

“I love Louie [Anderson] but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,” Hall said while laughing. “No, I think we were forced to put a white person.”

Murphy added, “Paramount was like … because the whole cast was Black and this was back in the ’80s, so it was like ‘We have to have a white person; there has to be a white person in the movie!’ “

While Murphy may have been forced to add a hint of diversity to the film, he has previously stated that race has not prevented him from obtaining gigs throughout his 40-year career.

“I’ve been making movies for 40 years and never once could I not get a movie made because I was Black. I transcended that stuff,” explained Murphy to Radio Times.

The sequel that took more than three decades to come together will again include Anderson as he reprises his role. Adding to the novelty of the film is how the crew turned rapper Rick Ross’ home in Fayetteville, Georgia — within metropolitan Atlanta — into Zamunda. 

“Yeah, his house is so big, we literally were able to dress it and make it look like a palace,” Murphy told CNN. “That stuff you see where I’m walking on the African plain and there’s antelopes running — that’s Rick Ross’s backyard. He has like 300 acres or something.”

The Miami-native also shared how much he enjoyed being able to witness the behind-the-scenes moments of history being made at his home. On Instagram he wrote:

“Unbelievable experience for me.Never would imagine my favorite film sequel being shot @ my crib,feel me? Watching Akeem and Semi behind the scenes as I sip @originalbumbu I can’t wait to see the film. Another Classic. My only question is did my cameo make the cut?😎Bawse.”

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