Meeting Eddie Murphy, the host of the upcoming 84th Academy Awards show, at Universal Studios this morning, he told me that Ricky Gervais was saying wild stuff at last years Golden Globes ceremony.
I think he is funny and charming and has a great smile, but I was going Woo and wow, he laughs. Those shows, like the Golden Globes and Oscars, are not about whos hosting them even if you got a great person hosting, its about that show, and you want to do that show the way it’s supposed to be done and not turn over any apple carts or do any stuff.
Indeed, Gervais did turn several apple carts when he mercilessly dug his comedic claws into the private and professional lives of major Hollywood celebrities, outraging his client, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). However, the show was a phenomenal rating success and last summer was nominated for an Emmy award.
In contrast, last years tame Oscar show, which was hosted by actors James Franco and Ann Hathaway, was deemed a colossal failure, prompting the Academy bosses to seek the help of the veteran comedian Eddie Murphy to bring the show back to its deserved glory.
Projecting an air of unmistakable confidence, the Oscar-nominated actor, who hasnt hosted the show before, is not weighed down by the burden of responsibility.
What the worst thing that can happen? he laughs. You can suck! But Ive sucked in front of a billion people before. Ive put some movies out before. The worst thing that can happen is you dont do it good, but I cant imagine it not being good.
Interestingly, the Academy officials havent even had a chat with Murphy about their expectations of the show.
Im anticipating some type of conversation and whatever they say the evening should be like, thats what its going to be like because Im there to host the show, be entertaining and move smoothly and all that. Im a hired gun so its not about me that night.
Having said that, the 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop star is aware that people are expecting a little dash of naughty from him.
Not too naughty though, he quips. “I am going to have my clothes on.
Although he has been watching a lot of new releases, Murphy hasnt written anything for the show yet. He and a team of writers will commence writing sketches and jokes when the Oscar nominees are announced.
In spite of Gervais’ fallout with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, there is a good chance that he will host next years Golden Globes show. If he does and repeats his last year’s success then Murphy will be under pressure to outperform him. But the American superstar is not concerned.
I dont have butterflies, but I am excited about doing it, he enthused. It has nothing to do with the last Oscars or the next ones. I want to make it the best I could make it that night.
Murphy is currently seen in the newly-released comedy Tower Heights, directed by Brett Ratner, the producer of the upcoming Oscars show.