It’s not too often that actors or actresses get the chance to work with their idols. For Luenell Campbell, the original bad girl of comedy, she acknowledges this wholeheartedly. Not only did she land the role in Eddie Murphy’s forthcoming film on Netflix “Dolemite Is My Name” but she is also apart of the “Coming To America 2” star-studded cast. That’s two Eddie Murphy films in the same year for the star comedian and actress.
And she didn’t hold back her expression of gratitude for the opportunity to work with the comedy legend in an exclusive interview on The Vibe Show, hosted by personality and founder Kevin Hampton and produced by Grit Daily’s own Issac Morgan.
“You’re a very, very lucky person if you get to do anything with Eddie Murphy,” Luenell said during the 50-minute phone conversation. “But to do two movies in one year, I know I am blessed and highly favored in more ways than one.”
Auditioning for movie
The comedian didn’t just get the role in Eddie’s first film because of her celebrity status. She actually revealed that she auditioned several times for “Dolemite Is My Name” before making the cut. She went on to elaborate about the casting process for the movie.
“I auditioned like seven times and we had to do the old school screen test,” Luenell said. “I had to go in and put on a wig and put on clothes. I did not get that role, that role went to my girl Joy. And I think she murdered it, she was cast perfect for it. They did give me another role and that is playing the aunt of Rudy Moore. I’m still in it and got to interact with Eddie Murphy.”
Getting the role in the second Eddie Murphy film was more of a smooth process for the “I Got The Hookup” actress.
“I auditioned so much so I didn’t have to audition for the part that they gave me in Coming To America 2,” Luenell told Kevin Hampton.
Filming for “Coming To America 2”
Campbell may not have a main role in the “Coming To America” sequel but she recognizes the value of being cast in a major film. It was more about being able to be a part of a classic black film for the comedian. And to continue adding more blockbuster hits to her already lengthy resume.
“It’s not how big the role is, it’s how big the movie is. You may just have two lines in a really big movie, but you [are] in there. Be grateful, be happy, nobody can tell you shit. I’m not carrying the movie by any means. I’m not one of the recurring characters, I’m a new character. But I’m in there and I couldn’t be happier.”
News gradually broke about the movie and the cast, which fans were excited to know that most of its original members were returning like Arsenio Hall and of course, Eddie Murphy. But fans were also equally excited about additions to the movie such as rapper Rick Ross and actor Wesley Snipes. When describing the film set, Luenell said, “it’s a blessed cast, it’s a blessed environment to be in. Everybody is so happy and so excited about this.”
She went on to comment on the cast and filming for the movie: “Almost everybody is back [from the movie]. We would never ever take a classic and mess it up. It’s the best script I’ve read since I’ve been in Hollywood. I couldn’t be more pleased to be apart of it.”
Critics have doubts about whether the sequel can live up to the hype. But Luenell set the record straight during The Vibe Show interview.
“For those people out there wondering, ‘oh God I hope they don’t mess this up’, this isn’t a remake, this is a sequel. And the sequel ties everything together so beautifully. You’re going to be very happy and amazed. You can have high expectations because we have high expectations. So it’s going to be great. It’ll be out Christmas of 2020.”
Luenell’s personality on stage is no different from who she is off the stage. She is known for being vocal and adding humor to some of her darkest moments in life. Though she wasn’t addicted, the comedian revealed her past habits of using crack and how she overcame it before she became a mother and wife.
Nowadays, she is superwoman, always finding time to spend with her family and daughter, who she says lives down the street from her. Her career keeps her busy but she loves to make people laugh and feel good. This is her God given gift in life.
“I’m just out here trying to live my best life as they say,” Luenell said, as she closed the interview. “I’m not living a hot girl summer, I’m living a hot girl life.”
In an exclusive interview on The Vibe Show, the black Hollywood star elaborated more on her excitement for working with Eddie Murphy.
Grit Daily: Describe your experience working with Eddie Murphy and how the opportunity came about.
Luenell Campbell: “Eddie is a dream. I was actually more friendly with Charlie than Eddie. Rest in peace to the late, great Charlie Murphy. But Eddie and I did know each other quite well from me working with his brother. So the fact that I get to work with Eddie… it’s been amazing. I can’t even post the picture that I have, I can’t do it yet. I have pictures with the great John Amos.. Wesley Snipes and the wonderful Tracy Morgan who is a walking miracle after what he has survived.”