Whatever Happened To Eddie Murphy?
He’s hinted at retirement for awhile
Although fans may be confused by Murphy’s recent absence from the big screen, the superstar comedian has actually been laying the groundwork for retirement for years. Speaking to the Today show in 2008, Murphy, then 47, revealed he even had a target date for his exit. “I’m planning to make movies until I am 50,” he said. “That’s two years and eight months [from now]. Then I’m going back to the stage.”
Since then, Murphy has mostly lived up to his word. His last major star vehicle, Tower Heist, hit theaters a few months after his 50th birthday. He’s since appeared in only two other movies: the underwhelming A Thousand Words, in 2012; and the very-low-profile indie Mr. Church, which opened to mostly negative reviews in 2016. Meanwhile, he did a bit of standup for the first time in almost three decades while accepting the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2015.
He’s not really interested in Hollywood right now
Speaking of Mr. Church, at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie in September 2016, Murphy told reporters he’s pretty content with his life outside the spotlight these days. “My stuff is on TV all the time for anyone checking for it,” he said in an interview with Variety. “When do they think they’ll hear me say something funny [in the future]? I don’t know, because from here, I’m going back to the backyard to chill.”
Murphy offered the same sentiment while talking to Rolling Stone a few years prior. “I only want to do what I really want to do, otherwise I’m content to sit here and play my guitar all day,” he said in 2011. “I always tell people now that I’m a semiretired gentleman of leisure, and occasionally I’ll go do some work to break the boredom up. … My whole s— revolves around having this peace of mind. It’s peaceful, quiet, that’s my day-to-day. I play my guitar, hang out with my girl. My kids went to their mom’s this week. I’m chilling, no stress. After all these years, I’ve done well and I’m cool. I feel comfortable in my skin, I’ve saved some paper, everybody’s healthy, my kids are beautiful and smart, doing different things, it’s all good. I’m trying to maintain my s— like this, and do a fun project every now and then.”