Eddie Murphy and his daughter, Bella Murphy, are on the cover of ESSENCE magazine’s March/April issue dedicated to the upcoming Coming 2 America film. The legendary comedian and his youngest daughter are featured along with Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, and KiKi Layne who are also in the highly-anticipated film.
“Coming to America is one of my films that has really worked its way into the culture,” Eddie says of the popularity the 1988 film has garnered over the decades. “People get dressed up as (sic) the characters for Halloween, and they still walk around saying catchphrases like ‘Sexual Chocolate.'”
“So many people grew up with Coming to America and have a lot invested in it, so I didn’t want to taint that,” Murphy continues. “Once the ideas started coming together, it took about four or five years to get the script all the way right. Once we got it right, I knew it was time.”
Coming 2 America picks up where the first film ends. Prince Akeem of Zamunda (Eddie Murphy) returns to America after learning he has a son in the States. The prince’s son, now in his 30s, does not initially embrace the idea of traveling to his father’s homeland. A glimpse of Prince Akeem’s wealth, however, changes the scope.
“A lot of people have posted about Coming to America and said things like, ‘Please don’t mess with my movie’ or ‘I don’t want no sequel,'” Arsenio Hall tells ESSENCE in reference to the initial reactions to Coming 2 America. “We’ve been pitched all kinds of ideas, but I remember reading the script in Eddie’s backyard and it was all making sense,” Hall shares. “That’s when I knew that this was going to be the sequel.”
Bella Murphy stars alongside her father as Prince Akeem’s daughter, Omma. Fans learned about the rising star’s forthcoming role from her mom. Nicole Murphy revealed Bella’s passion for acting during a 2019 interview with Wendy Williams. The celebrity mom also told the talk show host that her youngest daughter auditioned like everyone else for the role in her father’s film.
“Omma is super-smart, a little bit of a bada**, and she’s super-cool,” Bella tells ESSENCE of her character. “Being able to do my first film with my dad is really special,” the young adult adds. “I’m over the moon.”
KiKi Layne portrays Prince Akeem’s bold daughter, Meeka. “[She] is loyal to her family,” Layne shares with the press. “I’m interested in showcasing strong Black women— and being a part of this film was an opportunity to play in such a classic world and also to work with straight-up legends, all the way around,” the actress says.
Coming 2 America – starring James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, Wesley Snipes, and more – debuts on Amazon Prime on March 5, 2021. Pick up your copy of ESSENCE magazine’s “Coming 2 America” issue today!