Eddie Murphy doesn't give many interviews.
But, with the indie drama Mr. Church generating early Oscar buzz, he made an exception. Murphy is the latest guest on The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast, in which he discusses everything from his former stand-up comedy career to his sobriety.
Here are five of the most surprising revelations Murphy made:
1. He's a Luddite. "I used to be the hippest of them all. I used to know everything about everything. I used to read about everything that was going on and I knew everybody's name and anybody in pop culture. Anything that was written about me I would read. And for the last maybe 20 years—I haven't read a newspaper in 20 years, or read a corporate magazine," he says, noting that he especially dislikes reading anything written about himself. "If there's an article about me, someone has to read through it before they even give it to me. I don't want to see anything that has anything negative. I don't want to read any of that s--t. So, I don't know what y'all think. I don't have a computer, I don't have email—I don't have any of that s--t."
2. He's contemplated a return to comedy. "I stopped doing stand-up because it stopped being fun," he says of leaving the stage in his 20s. "And the reason it stopped being fun was it was harder to write...new stuff. It had gotten so crazy." He recalls thinking at the time, 'Maybe I'll take a little break from standup.' And then the break just got longer." With the rise of black Def Jam comics in the '90s, he says, "The whole comedy scene just turned into this big other thing." Murphy, now 55, hasn't ruled out returning to the scene. "For years I've been procrastinating about it, going, 'I'll do stand-up again,'" he says. "And all of a sudden I'm this far away from it."
3. He's turned down drugs from other comics. "[John] Belushi and Robin Williams offered me some blow and I didn't take it, and Belushi called me a 'tightass," he recalls. "Then, years later, I was like, 'Wow, that's a trip.'" Murphy is sober, but he adds that it's no big deal. "I don't drink," he explains. "I don't have like this moral thing about it, I just don't do it—and I didn't get high."
4. He celebrates his hits and his misses. "In my view, I've never had a flop movie or a movie that didn't work. If I did the movie, and they paid me lots and lots of money to do it, it's a f--king smash! Any movie that I was in that they paid me a lot of money for was a f--king smash. To be perfectly honest, we celebrate Pluto Nash at my house. We don't have Christmas Day, we have Pluto Nash Day," he says. "And we don't have Halloween, we have Vampire in Brooklyn Day."
5. He's convinced he'll win an Oscar someday. "Eventually they're gonna have to give me that s--t," Murphy jokes. "I already did 35 years in movies. Eventually y'all gonna have to give me something. And if y'all wait 'til I'm 85, 90, I'm gonna come out a 90-year-old dude, in a sky-blue tuxedo—there's a reason why it's sky blue—and I'm gonna walk out and when they give me the award and they hand it to me, I'm just gonna stand there and urinate on myself in front of the world—the whole world—and just stand there. And then they're gonna have to play that music and then they'll have to usher me off. That's gonna be my moment. Don't make me wait!"