Eddie Murphy on ‘surreal’ experience of acting with daughter in new ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ film (2024)

Eddie Murphy is revisiting one of his most famous roles with the help of someone pretty close to him.

Murphy returns as wisecracking police Detective Axel Foley in “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F,” the fourth installment in the “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise, due to hit Netflix on July 3.

Murphy, who is the father of 10 kids, is joined in the movie by one of his real-life daughters, Bria, who makes a cameo playing a police officer.

“She’s the one that arrests me,” Murphy told Al Roker in an interview that aired June 18 on TODAY. “And the other scene when I get arrested in the movie, that’s my son-in-law tasing me in the neck. It was right after they got married. It was on the set, tasing me in my neck. I was like, ‘This is surreal.’”

Eddie Murphy on ‘surreal’ experience of acting with daughter in new ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ film (1)

Murphy is synonymous with Axel Foley, although he hasn’t played him since “Beverly Hills Cop III” 30 years ago. Returning to the role was a bit of a wake-up call for him.

“It felt like old man,” he said. “I did ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ when I was 21. And I’m 63 now.”

The “Beverly Hills Cop” movies are known for their action, as much as their comedy, but Murphy said he’s not into doing stunts anymore.

“We were shooting something, and the director said, ‘I want you to come out of this place and run down those steps.’ And after we shot it, he was like, ‘Can you come down with more urgency and faster?’ And I was like, ‘No!’” he said while laughing.

“I was like, ‘I’m not doing anything action. Don’t call me unless you’re offering me the same type of (expletive) you would offer Morgan Freeman,’” he joked.

This fourth installment also features stars from the series, including John Ashton, Judge Reinhold, Paul Reiser and Bronson Pinchot, while big names Kevin Bacon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt also star.

Ashton returns as Taggart and Reinhold is back as Rosewood, the Beverly Hills cops who served as partners and came to appreciate Foley's unorthodox ways. The movie also features a stakeout scene in a car, similar to the famous scene in the original film, where Foley sneaks into the back seat and laughs, while Rosewood and Taggart sit in the front.

"It was kind of like we were walking out of a book that they’d loved as a kid or something," Reinhold said in an interview with Murphy and Ashton that aired on the 3rd hour of TODAY on June 18. "And Eddie got in the back, and the first thing — he looks at us, and he goes, 'Well, at least we still resemble our characters.'"

Ashton said the chemistry with him, Reinhold and Murphy is as good as ever.

"I think that’s because we get along so well, you know?" he said. "We feed off of each other, and we trust each other."

Murphy also said it was only right that the three of them team up again in this newest adventure.

"If we’re going to do 'Beverly Hills Cop,' it was the only way it could happen was if all of us were in it," he said.

Murphy rose to stardom on the big screen, in part, playing Foley in the original 1984 “Beverly Hills Cop” and followed it up with sequels in 1987 and 1994. For Murphy, playing Foley is a chance to portray someone people relate to.

Eddie Murphy on ‘surreal’ experience of acting with daughter in new ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ film (2)

“‘Beverly Hills Cop’ was my first movie that I’m the lead in. And if I travel overseas, they call me Axel Foley. To this (day), they’ll call me, ‘Alex Foley,’” he said.

“Axel is the everyman. He’s not a superhero or super cop. He’s the everyman that rises to the occasion. I think that’s why people like him. And, more than anything, he’s funny.”

As for his own kids, Murphy said they couldn't care less about his fame.

“Not at all,” Murphy said about if his younger children are aware of his notoriety. “And the older ones don't care.”

Murphy had once said he wanted to retire from movies at 50, but he’s still going strong.

“I think I will keep being a creative person ‘til the day I die,” he said.

As for the possibility Murphy will play Foley again, he says it’s an option.

“I hope so because this movie turned out so good, especially if you grew up watching the movie, then you’ll really, really love this new picture,” he said.

Drew Weisholtz

Drew Weisholtz is a reporter for TODAY Digital, focusing on pop culture, nostalgia and trending stories. He has seen every episode of “Saved by the Bell” at least 50 times, longs to perfect the crane kick from “The Karate Kid” and performs stand-up comedy, while also cheering on the New York Yankees and New York Giants. A graduate of Rutgers University, he is the married father of two kids who believe he is ridiculous.

Eddie Murphy on ‘surreal’ experience of acting with daughter in new ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ film (2024)

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