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EDDIE GRIFFIN | He's ALL Action baby!
an emily blunt interview

 

 

 

Recognize him? Some do...and everybody will very soon! See, Eddie's in a multitude of projects like the new hit Undercover Brother and The New Guy at theater's near you! This interview was done about three months ago...so in case ya notice the past tense stuff it's all cool. I just loved the way he talked about his "upcoming" Undercover Brother role and wanted to share.

Eddie Griffin's a kinetic and fun guy that one can certainly combined the old "right place at the right time" with great breaks. The kind that make you believe a person with talent can, and will actually make it.

His sitcom "Malcom and Eddie" was well received and gained the fellow millions of loyal fans. Now after a few choice roles already, he's taking 2002 and claiming it as his own. He's super nice and I think you'll enjoy his story.

Enjoy.

EMILY: How ya doing?
EDDIE: All right.
EMILY: Wow! This has been your year, huh?
EDDIE: Yes indeedy!
EMILY: You're in "John Q" with scrumptious Denzel Washington.
EDDIE: Yes.
EMILY: And now starring in "Undercover Brother" with Chris
Kattan
and Dave Chapelle?
EDDIE: Uh huh.
EMILY: Oh....and also isn't there a stand-up comedy show with "Eddie Griffin Live" that is in production?
EDDIE: Yes indeedy.
EMILY: So how does it feel to be EVERYWHERE?
EDDIE: REAL good! Yeah, it's a lot of work, but it feels good.
EMILY: Well, it can't be more work than doing a sitcom? Like when you were doing "Malcolm & Eddie."
EDDIE: Ooooh...it's a lot more work. "Malcolm & Eddie" was centrally located so, you know.
EMILY: Oh, so you're all over the place with the rest of it.
EDDIE: Yeah.
EMILY: Yeah. Now how..."John Q" is pretty far from your comedy roots, how'd you get or go for that?
EDDIE: Actually, uh, the director and I believe Denzel, was behind that. I was shooting "Double Take" at the time.
EMILY: Uh huh. With Orlando Jones?
EMILY: With Orlando Jones, and got a call from my agent who said they'd like you to be in "John Q." I'm like, "John Q?" THAT'S Denzel's movie. I'm like, we don't even need to read the script. Hell, yeah!
EMILY: Was he a fan of yours? How does that...how did they pick...
EDDIE: Oh, I had known my Denzel. We hung out a couple times.
EMILY: Oh, so it's all who you know?
EDDIE: Well, you got to have some talent to back that up.
EMILY: Yeah, I know. I was just teasin' ya. Now in your bio it says that you did soccer choreography before deciding to follow comedy.
EDDIE: Yes indeedy.
EMILY: Uh, for the sports retarded, like myself, what the hell is that? Square dancing at half-time routines?
EDDIE: No...it was...matter of fact it was the opening show and half-time show.
EMILY: Oh really?
EDDIE: For an indoor soccer team.
EMILY: So they had to do a jig, or what did they do? I don't get it.
EDDIE: A jig?
EMILY: Like a dance? What do you mean...soccer choreography?
EDDIE: No, it's a soccer team. I was the choreographer for the dancers who would do the show at half-time.
EMILY: OH!! Okay. Okay. I see. The way it was worded I had your soccer team out there visually doing a cancan.
EDDIE: [laughter]
EMILY: I said, "What the hell is that?"
EDDIE: [laughter]
EMILY: Now I understand the next film that you're in is "Undercover Brother?"
EDDIE: "The"New Guy," I believe, comes before that. "The New Guy" I believe that's coming out at the end of April. I play this guy...uh...who's in the pen. Penitentiary, and teaches this young lad how to...uh...handle himself.
EMILY: Handle himself with the people within the prison?
EDDIE: No, within his college, 'cause he's at college and he's like the big nerd and everybody picks on him all the time.
EMILY: Oh, he's "The New Guy" at school.
EDDIE: Yeah, he's "The New Guy" and I'm gettin' him tough.
EMILY: And then you are doing the action comedy "Undercover Brother?"
EDDIE: Yes indeed.
EMILY: Yeah, and that's based upon a popular Internet comedy series.
EDDIE: Yes. I'm "Undercover Brother."
EMILY: Uh, you're going to play Anton Jackson?
EDDIE: Yeah. I...no...we already filmed it.
EMILY: When is that being released?
EDDIE: That releases May 31st.
EMILY: May 31st. Wonderful. And, and who else is going to be in that? That's Chris Kattan and...
EDDIE: Denise Richards, Dave Chappelle, Billy Dee Williams, James Brown..
EMILY: And how'd you get involved in that one? Did you have to audition for that, or did
somebody contact you again? Cause I understand that it's a very popular Web series.
EDDIE: Yeah. I mean they just contacted me.
EMILY: Ahhh...so you're just being contacted. That's pretty good.
EDDIE: Uh huh.
EMILY: Now, who's your inspiration? Who inspires you?
EDDIE: Hmmm...let's see. Uh...
EMILY: If you had to put down a list of your favorite people...the people who make you laugh...
EDDIE: ...or inspire me? I'm gonna say Jimmy Hendrix, John Lennon, Bob Marley.
EMILY: Oh that's right. You're a musician.
EDDIE: Uh huh.
EMILY: What do you play?
EDDIE: Play guitar.
EMILY: You have a band called "Eclectic Divinity?"
EDDIE: Uh huh.
EMILY: And do you play locally with them, or what are you doing with them?
EDDIE: Yeah. We used to do shows...uh...every Friday and Saturday.
EDDIE: At...uh..."Momma Blues" but then my schedule had gotten so busy. We haven't performed live for a while.
EMILY: Do you have a CD on the Blue Light Records label you created?
EDDIE: Yes, on Blue Light Records. I'll be releasing that this August.
EMILY: And how will people be able to get it?
EDDIE: The record store.
EMILY: At their regular record store? Not like at a Web site? Do you have a Web site on yourself?
EDDIE: No.
EMILY: Let's talk about "The Live Show." Has that been completed? The "Eddie Griffin Live in Concert."
EDDIE: Yeah, we should be done editing it in the next three weeks.
EMILY: Oh that's exciting. Now where did you film that?
EDDIE: It was right outside Chicago in Maryville, Illinois. A theater, with about 4,000 to 5,000 seats.
EMILY: Great! And when will it air? Or where will it be?
EDDIE: Oh, that'll be in a theater near you.
EMILY: In a theater? Okay, not on HBO or something.
EDDIE: No.
EMILY: Wonderful. Now do you get confused with Andy Griffith a lot?
EDDIE: No. [laughter]
EMILY: Harharhar...
EDDIE: Now just put it in print as EDWARD Griffin.
EMILY: And how would you label your brand of comedy? Or would you...do you have like a catch phrase for your brand of comedy . I know you're kinetic.
EDDIE: Um...let's see. What would I call it? Uh...the truth is always funnier than fiction.
EMILY: Yeah. This is absolutely true. Do you have a favorite film? You know, I do
film reviews.
EDDIE: Uh huh.
EMILY: Do you have something that you just watch over and over or something that drives you
crazy?
EDDIE: Recently, or...
EMILY: If you were stuck on a desert island and you have to bring three movies, and only three, what would they be?
EDDIE: Hmm... "Which Way is Up," by Richard Pryor, so I can get my laugh off...uh..."The Godfather." ...just for the in...intense acting and powerhouses in the movie. And, let's see...what else...uh..."Lady Sings the Blues."
EMILY: Oh, that's a nice one. Now you're definitely headed for the stars. I mean this is your year. Can you give any pointers to comedians that are still schlepping around the circuit that are trying to get the chance?
EDDIE: Hmm....Be true to yourself! As long as you're funny, everything else falls into place.
EMILY: What did you do? You started in Kansas City, correct?
EDDIE: Uh huh.
EMILY: And so tell me a little bit about you. How did your career begin?
EDDIE: Oh...Southern Kansas City...took a little bus ride out here...went to the Comedy Store did a showcase for Mitzi Shore [owner and legendary star maker]. And signed me up that night.
EMILY: They signed you up to perform?
EDDIE: To perform and work the door.
EMILY: Uh huh. People would give their right arm and a leg to get that kind of a statement.
EDDIE: Oooo!
EMILY: So how long were you at the Comedy Store and what did that do for you?
EDDIE: I still perform there.
EMILY: Oh you do?
EDDIE: Yeah. I was on last night.
EMILY: Now was that announced, or is that you just stopped by...
EDDIE: That's just me popping in.
EMILY: This is LA - yeah, people do that, but people can't like plan on going to see you, can they?
EDDIE: No.
EMILY: Is there anywhere that there's a leak if you're gonna be there?
EDDIE: If there's a leak?
EMILY: Yeah.
EDDIE: Hmm...uh....I call the phone person at the Comedy Store. He always leaks it. [laughter]
EMILY: Oh...very cool. And what did you do last night? Did you do a full "set"or just a couple of minutes?
EDDIE: Oh no, I did an hour and a half - two hours.
EMILY: Incredible! So now you're at the Comedy Store and you've just arrived in LA. You get this great Comedy Store gig...then what happens?
EDDIE: Andrew Dice Clay sees me, and that was August of 1989. That was at the height of his
stardom. And...uh...went out, opened up 22 cities on his tour.
EMILY: Wow.
EDDIE: I did Madison Square Garden, the Forum, and all these 20,000 seat venues with him. And got my agent, William Morris, through being at the show.
EMILY: They came out and saw you at the show?
EDDIE: Yeah. At Madison Square Garden.
EMILY: And when did you decide to get into film?
EDDIE: Uh, film chose me. I didn't really choose film. I was back at the Comedy Store and Robert Townsend seen me there, and we ended up doing "Meteor Man" together.
EMILY: [laughter] "Meteor Man's" wonderful. Well Wayan's is...you're also in "Deuce Bigelow."
EDDIE: Yep.
EMILY: Male Gigolo.
EDDIE: Male Gigolo.
EMILY: Yeah, you've been in a lot. And you're in "Armageddon."
EDDIE: "Armageddon." and "Foolish" with Master P, and "The Walking Dead."
EMILY: So far what's been your favorite movie experience? Or is there one?
EDDIE: The one I just finished. "Undercover Brother."
EMILY: Was it a hootenanny?
EDDIE: We had a ball. It was down and out hootenanny!
EMILY: [laughter]
EDDIE: [laughter]
EMILY: Well, the cast is great! It just looks like a fun group of folks.
EDDIE: Oh yeah. I mean you get me and [David] Chapelle on the set at the same time.
EMILY: I can only imagine.
EDDIE: Denise Richards on top of that. And then Chris Kattan and his crazy laugh.
EMILY: Yeah. And he's an ex-Groundling.
EDDIE: And a ball of energy.
EMILY: Yes, he is. A funny, funny man.
EDDIE: Uh huh.
EMILY: So where do you see yourself in a year from now. What are you're kind of goals with your career?
EDDIE: A year from now? Keep making the world laugh. Having another phone conversation with you about a...another fun, funny flick.
EMILY: Yeah, that'll be great.
EDDIE: Cause I just think, you know, it's time for the world to just kick back and laugh. Especially
since after 9/11, you know. You know, for a couple of months there it was almost taboo should you laugh or should you...know...and now, you know, I think it's time for people to just kick back and enjoy a nice laugh.
EMILY: Absolutely! Well, it looks like you've got a lot on the slate for them to laugh at! Do you have a favorite actor? Do you have somebody who you, you just watch with tears in your eyes?
EDDIE: Denzel!
EMILY: Denzel! Now how did I know you were going to say that?
EDDIE: [laughter]
EMILY: He's up for the Academy Award. How 'bout them apples?
EDDIE: Yes....
EMILY: And if you read my review, you'll notice that I was probably the only critic in the United States that I think even saw the movie, "Training Day," and said he deserves an Academy Award for this performance.
EDDIE: Yes indeedy, you were right on. He's the greatest!
EMILY: I am in tune, baby.
EDDIE: Uh huh.
EMILY: So I'll have to get in and give your "Undercover Brother" and "The New Guy" a peek.
EDDIE: Yes indeedy.
EMILY: "Undercover Brother." How long was that in production?
EDDIE: Let's see...three months. We shot it last year. And it's just so much footage and so much funny stuff in there I'm sure it's gonna be a hit!
EMILY: In the promo they call you a "Mayonnaise loving, Gap wearing, Friends watching
black man." Explain!
EDDIE: Yeah, that's Anton, my alter-ego.
EMILY: Okay, so why don't you tell me a little bit about "Undercover Brother" without giving away
the story. What are we in for? For the people who don't know the internet series.
EDDIE: Uh, let's see. The easiest way to do it...a black Austin Powers. A '70's fro, the bell bottoms, platforms, you know, the big belt buckle that says "UB" - that stands for "Undercover Brother" The pork chop side burns.
EMILY: Oh great!
EDDIE: You know.
EMILY: Yeah.
EDDIE: And it's just fun after that.
EMILY: He's just fighting the Man.
EDDIE: He's fighting the Man.
EMILY: So this is a throwback to the 70's.
EDDIE: Yes indeed. Truth, justice and the Afro-American way.
EMILY: Oh, that's fantastic!
EDDIE: [laughter]
EMILY: Chris Kattan is your nemesis in this?
EDDIE: Yes, he plays Mr. Feather, who works for the Man. He's the Man's head, head honcho.
EMILY: And what is his goal in life as the Man - the head honcho?
EDDIE: As the Man's head honcho?
EMILY: What's he doing to you?
EDDIE: To be the Man.
EMILY: Oh, okay. And what's that encompass? I mean, what's their evilness?
EDDIE: Oh, let's see. To make sure black people don't get loans.
EMILY: [laughter]
EDDIE: [laughter]
EMILY: Oh my!
EDDIE: Anything that goes wrong with...with black people. He's the Man behind it.
EMILY: Ah!! Okay. Okay, fair enough. So that sounds like a hoot already.
EDDIE: Oh yeah, yeah. The Man kidnaps James Brown. James Brown's in it.
He gets kidnaped and brainwashed not to dance.
EMILY: Oh, nonono....
EDDIE: Yeah! So I have to go save James Brown.
EMILY: They brainwash him? And have him do the infamous "white man's dance?"
EDDIE: Oh no. He, he just couldn't dance. And then they take Vince Carter and Vince Carter gives up basketball and becomes the drum major...twirling his baton.
EMILY: And how do they brainwash them? What's their technique?
EDDIE: Mayonnaise.
EMILY: Mayonnaise?
EDDIE: [laughter]
EMILY: Explain, please.
EDDIE: Well, supposedly brothers don't like mayonnaise.
EMILY: Oh?
EDDIE: So every time he panics something goes awry.
EMILY: Oh really? There's some sort of DNA quirk?
EDDIE: Yeah. He has some kind of DNA, some kind of molecule therapy in...in the mayonnaise.
EMILY: So they force them to eat the mayonnaise and then they lose all of their blackness?
EDDIE: Yes indeedy.
EMILY: Oh, that's oddly funny.
EDDIE: It's just too much.
EMILY: And then they start watching "Friends?" Is that it?
EDDIE: "Friends" and "Fraser"... You know, "As the World Turns."
EMILY: Huh! Well, I'm sorry that we white folks are so plain, but I'm sure it's gonna be a joke and a half done with a wink.
EDDIE: Oh yeah.
EMILY: Sounds great.
EDDIE: [laughter] It's really just one big joke after another.
EMILY: [laughter]Well, thanks for chatting with me Eddie.
EDDIE: Hey, it was nice talking to you too.
EMILY: Okay, buh-bye.
EDDIE: Bye.

 

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