Jamie Lee Curtis Recalls That Time Eddie Murphy Showed Up Late To The Trading Places Set And What Happened After

Jamie Lee Curtis has been in several memorable movies dating back to her feature film debut as Laurie Strode in the original Halloween. Outside of horror though, Curtis has been a comedy staple, with cult classics like Trading Places and True Lies (which paired her with Arnold Schwarzenegger) under her belt. The former marked a change of pace for the renowned scream queen, as she played Ophelia, a hooker with a heart of gold. The comedy also allowed her to star alongside Saturday Night Live stars Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. Now, over four decades after the film’s release, the Everything Everywhere All at Once star recalled what happened one time when Murphy showed up late to the set.

As it turns out, the Halloween Ends star nearly didn't play the character. She revealed to EW that director John Landis fought her to get the role despite executives advocating for other actresses. Jamie Lee Curtis mentioned being part of the cult classic was “fun and scary” (and included moments like the nude scene that "embarrassed" her) as it felt like an important movie. But, soon, the conversation turned to the first (and last) time Eddie Murphy was late to the set. The Hollywood icon recalled the comedian being “sweet and funny” before spilling how his tardiness played with Landis:

He was sweet, he was funny. I remember when we were doing the table read in Philadelphia, Eddie was late, and John went out in the hall and explained to him that being late, ever, was not part of the gig. Eddie came in and apologized to all of us that he was late, and never was late again for John. So, you know, he was young.

The actress showed some grace when referencing the then-young comedy star during her recent interview. At the time, she could probably understand being young and green when it comes to etiquette on a film set, given her breakthrough had only come a few years earlier. And based on the comments, it sounds like Eddie Murphy learned from his talk with the director. After all, he did go onto become one of the biggest stars Hollywood has ever seen.

Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in Trading Places

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

In 1983, Eddie Murphy had a lot going on between being a burgeoning movie star and a full-time cast member on SNL. He was one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities at that point. Trading Places was only the comedian’s second movie after the first 48 Hrs., though he delivered stellar performances in both movies. And while he was great on his own, his chemistry with Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd and co. was also great.

Since starring in Trading Places, both Jamie Lee Curtis and Eddie Murphy have cemented their statuses as Hollywood staples. Curtis’s film career continues to flourish, and her latest film, Halloween Ends, hits cinemas on October 14. This momentum won’t stop as she will star in two of 2023’s hottest upcoming moviesHaunted Mansion and Borderlands, which stars Kevin Hart and more big stars. Murphy, meanwhile, will star in the Netflix comedy You People, and Beverly Hills Cop 4 is currently in production. Both Curtis and Murphy have come a long way as people and as performers, but you can still stream Trading Places using a Hulu subscription.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).