How Eddie Murphy broke a family rule so daughter Bella could co-star in 'Coming 2 America'

Kevin Polowy
·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·3-min read

Of Eddie Murphy's 10 children, only a few have followed in their famous father's footsteps and pursued an acting career.

In a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment, daughter Bella Murphy provided some insight into the legendary comedian-actor's mindset when it comes to his kids entering showbiz. Eddie has a family rule: His children can work in the entertainment industry if they want to… but not until they become legal adults.

However, he made an exception for Bella, who was 17 at the time, asked to be an extra in Coming 2 America.

"We're not allowed to work in this industry until we're 18," Bella, tells us (watch above). 'So I didn't think that would be a possibility."

Not only was her wished-for cameo a possibility — Bella was ultimately promoted to full-fledged cast member. She plays Princess Omma, one of three daughters of Zamundan Prince-turned-King Akeem has with wife Queen Lisa Joffer (Shari Headley) in Amazon's highly anticipated sequel to the 1988 classic Coming to America.

"Me and my dad do lots of acting scenes together, just for fun," Bella, now 19, explains. "He's a great teacher and it's just something we enjoy doing. We also watch a bunch of movies, and I was going to acting classes.

"I think he just saw that, and saw how passionate I was about it, and was like, 'I think I'm just going to let you audition for the princess if you want. He gave that option to me. Which of course I took, because I wanted to do it. So I did the audition, and I practiced with him, and it was awesome."

Eddie made it clear that Bella had to earn the role. "She had to audition for Craig Brewer, who directed the movie," he told Good Morning America. "I wasn't muscling my kid into the movie. She had to really be able to deliver. Otherwise, she wouldn't have gotten the role."

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  (L-R) Zola Murphy, Bria Murphy, Eddie Murphy, Shayne Murphy and Bella Murphy attend the debut gallery opening of Bria Murphy's
Zola Murphy, Bria Murphy, Eddie Murphy, Shayne Murphy and Bella Murphy attend the debut gallery opening of Bria Murphy's "Subconscious" at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Bella, whose mother is Eddie’s ex-wife Nicole Mitchell Murphy, joins siblings Eric Murphy and Bria Murphy in pursuing entertainment careers. Eric is a writer and voice actor currently developing an animated television series called Blockwood. After her first movie credit, contributing children’s drawings to 2003’s Daddy Day Care, Bria has gone on to act in films like Amateur Night (2016) with Jason Biggs and Conflict of Interest (2017).

Bella clearly enjoys the spoils that come with having a celebrity father. In a joint interview with her father on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, the neophyte actress recalled a party her father threw where one of her crushes, Leonardo DiCaprio, showed up. "I started freaking out," she said. "I think my dad knew that Leonardo DiCaprio was coming, but he didn't tell me because he wanted it to be a surprise.

"I just lingered around him all night like a weirdo and stared at him"

Coming 2 America premieres Friday on Amazon Prime.

Watch the trailer:

— Video produced by Jon San and edited by Jason Fitzpatrick

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