Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall revealed a familiar face in Coming to America and its sequel was more of a push from the film’s studio than an essential casting decision.
While promoting the Coming 2 America sequel on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday night, Murphy and Hall said they were “forced” into casting fast food worker Maurice played by comedian Louie Anderson.
“I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,” Hall told Kimmel. “We were forced to put in a white person.”
Murphy elaborated a bit more on what the executives at Paramount Pictures told them in regards to casting.
“Paramount was like, because the whole cast is Black—and this was back in the ‘80s—so it was like ‘there has to be a white person in the movie,'” Murphy said.
“So who was the funniest white guy around? We knew Louie was cool, so that’s how Louie got in the movie.”
Hall, who plays man servant Semmi, mentioned the studio gave him a list of three white actors to choose from, but he declined to say who the other options were.
Although the casting choices might have been forced, audiences responded to them. Coming to America earned over $288 million at the international box office.
Murphy, Hall and Anderson will all come back to the screen when the film is released on Amazon on March 5.
Watch their full interview with Kimmel below: