Eddie Murphy is back, in ‘Coming 2 America’ find out why it took 33 years to return. Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, newly-crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) embark on an all-new hilarious adventure that has them traversing the globe from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York – where it all began. Coming 2 America, is a sequel that picks up 33 years after the first movie was made. Coming 2 America will launch on Amazon Prime Video in over 240 countries on March 5, 2021. To talk about it all, Dulce Osuna from HolaHollywood.com joined a zoom call conference with the cast: Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Nomzamo Mbatha, Rotimi, Luenell, Teyana Taylor & Wesley Snipe.

#Coming2America

Jacqueline Coley (Moderator):
Hello, everyone. My name is Jacqueline Coley. I’m an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, and it is my extreme pleasure to moderate this conversation with the cast of Coming 2 America. So without further ado, allow me to welcome them. Hey, guys. How y’all doing?

Nomzamo Mbatha:
Hi, Jacqueline.

Jermaine Fowler:
Nomzamo Mbatha:
Hello, hello.

Jacqueline Coley:
Yes. I definitely want to mention to everyone who’s watching again, keep your monitors, your videos off and on mute, and thank you for submitting questions. Many of the questions I’m going to be asking today is submitted from the press assembled here. So I’ll start with one of my favorite questions, which is, “You guys are the new school. You are the ones coming into Coming 2 America, and that is both, I’m sure, thrilling and daunting. But I want you all to take a little bit of nostalgia and tell me, what was your favorite part of the first one, either a line or a moment or maybe the first time you saw it?” Jermaine, I’ll start with you.

Jermaine Fowler:
Oh, it’s got to be Clarence, all the barbershop scenes. Those are a staple for me. I quote him all the time, him getting punched in the chest because MLK thought he was somebody else. That’s it. That’s mine.

Jacqueline Coley:
I live for it. Tracy, what about you, man? I’m sure you got so many quotable moments.

Tracy Morgan:
My main one is when the mother told King Jaffe Joffer, “Oh, put a sock in it, Javi.”

Jacqueline Coley:
The boys in love. I love that you mention that, because that one every time gets me emotional. I love that you brought that, because you bring the family and heart on this one. But let’s keep going. I’m going to circle back on that. Nomzamo, what about you? I’m sure you’ve got a few.

Nomzamo Mbatha:
I mean, let me prep my vocals. (singing)

Tracy Morgan:
I love it.

Jacqueline Coley:
I live. I live. Teyana, what you got?

Teyana Taylor:
I loved when he was in the barbershop and he told Prince Akeem, “That wasn’t nothing but Ultraperm.”

Teyana Taylor:
We all know

Jacqueline Coley:
I love that so much. Yeah, that goes deep. All right. Luenell, I’m going to go with you next, man. What is your favorite one? I definitely want to hear this. This has been such a great selection already.

Luenell:
It’s been Randy Watson for me, baby.

Tracy Morgan:
Wow.

Luenell:
The confidence of Randy Watson. That boy can sing.

Jacqueline Coley:
He had that Kanye confidence before Kanye. He came with that Kanye bravado before Kanye was.

Jermaine Fowler:
It feels so lovely to be here. It feels so lovely to be here.

Jacqueline Coley:
Last but not least, Rotimi, what about you, sir? What was your favorite moment?

Rotimi:
I think the most funny part for me was when he was so genuine. He was like, “Good morning, my neighbors. Yes.” They respond … Oh, but we can’t say it right now.

Jermaine Fowler:
Can we say it?

Jacqueline Coley:
I’m not going to prevent anything from being said that y’all want to say. I’m just happy to be here.

Jermaine Fowler:
F**k you, too.

Rotimi:
F**k you, too.

Jermaine Fowler:
F**k you, too.

Tracy Morgan:
If that’s the case, I’ve got another one.

Jacqueline Coley:
All right. Go

Tracy Morgan:
I like little things like when they first arrived in Queens, and they went to get an apartment. The dude peeked out the door. “Okay, now what the f**k you want?”

Jacqueline Coley:
That’s New York, right? I mean, I love, too, though, that your first selection, Tracy, was amazing, because-

Tracy Morgan:
Well, that was the movie.

Jacqueline Coley:
Yeah, it was heart, and you brought that, I think, to this. Backstage, I have to tell folks, this is a family. It’s not just the families you saw onscreen, and so much of that comes from you. So really talk about how I think this movie really embraces blended families and how they can come together.

Tracy Morgan:
You’ve always got that one person in the family that keeps everybody together.

Jermaine Fowler:
What is love?

Jacqueline Coley:
No judgment, no judgment, because I’m living for Leslie. In that entire 30-year span, I’m sure there was some great moments. So I would love to see that sequel. Eddie, [inaudible 00:14:25], y’all listening? Okay. Jermaine, it’s so crazy, too, because you get cast in this movie. It is literally with I think Tracy said the Mount Rushmore of Black comics in a lot of ways. But did you think that maybe your character actually teaches Akeem through the course of this film? Because that was the thing I really sort of took away from it, watching it a second time.

Jermaine Fowler:
Yeah. Inadvertently, he does. What I go through with my situation with Mirembe, he slowly gets reminded about what brought him to Queens and his love for Lisa. All that comes back to him. But it’s something you learn throughout the movie. Without my family, my aunts, my uncles, my mom, and Mirembe that we all start to realize this movie is just a reminder of what true love is. Sometimes you’ve got to get bumped in the head a little bit to just remember that.

Nomzamo Mbatha:
Or get chased by a lion.

Jacqueline Coley:
Yeah, or get chased by a lion. Look, I can do an entire 30 minutes on that lion, but I want to make sure I get everyone in here. Nomzamo especially, look, this is not just a love interest part. Just like with Lisa, your character really, I think, goes with this through line of female empowerment in this movie that was maybe not there in the first one. I think that’s really great when you look at this amazing cast of ladies, including some of the ones assembled here, to kind of be a part of the next chapter, which, let’s be honest, what is the Hamilton quote? Put women in the sequel? That part.

Nomzamo Mbatha:
I mean, Jacqueline, That’s such a great question. For me, there’s going to be so many people that are going to witness so many different central themes to this film. There’s the central theme of identity, the search for identity, the search for purpose, the search of leaving everything that you’ve always known behind and going into the new. But one of the most leading and on the pulse things about this film is a central theme around just the power of the female voice and the power of female empowerment. That’s what I love about the sequel. The finger is on the pulse. They read the room when they were writing the script. Craig Brewer read the room when he was directing those powerful scenes and gave that agency for women to just have agency on set, for women to just have agency with the roles.

Nomzamo Mbatha:
For me, it was also important because the film wasn’t going to Queens. It was coming to Zamunda. So it was about what I as an African woman am able to bring in terms of the nuances, in terms of the truth, and rooting it in so much texture and culture and seeing ourselves just … I mean, Mirembe’s witty. She’s smart. She’s sassy. She also brings a lot of grounding, and that’s the thing about comedy that we never give credit to. Comedy, there’s so much drama. There’s so much human connection that we can truly, truly learn. So I’m really just excited for everyone, every Brown girl, every little girl around the world to just see themselves, to hear themselves through the central theme.

Jacqueline Coley:
Yeah. I think I can plan an entire day with Black is King, Black Panther, and Coming 2 America [crosstalk 00:17:43]. That should be the new Black [crosstalk 00:17:46].

Tracy Morgan:
On that same note, if you look at the movie from you, your character, his daughters to his wife to his mother, all the way up to the point where John Amos says, “I always thought the queen was the smartest of them all. What do you think your mother would say, Akeem?”, that right there was it for me.

Jacqueline Coley:
Tracy, you can’t get us all [inaudible 00:18:11]. This is the first one. We’ve got to get through the whole day, or at least I do.

Tracy Morgan:
I’m sorry. I’m excited about it. I’m so sorry.

Jacqueline Coley:
No, you’re good. You’re good. I love it, because it speaks to this movie.

Tracy Morgan:
That is so

Jacqueline Coley:
Yeah. This movie has a ton of heart and family, and I’m not going to lie. I teared up. First time, I was like, “I want to fall in love and go to.” But on top of the-

Tracy Morgan:
in this world, we’re not here without the Black woman.

Jacqueline Coley:
Yeah. Hey, look.

Tracy Morgan:
400 years, 400 years. Y’all are in for because when the master was eating that pig and he threw them chitlins out, I wasn’t … My ego kept me from eating. If I can’t have what he has, then I ain’t eating nothing at all. While we sitting out there, she in the hut, mixing and seasoning. Me and these kids going to eat.

Jacqueline Coley:
Okay, I did not expect a culinary lesson, but I appreciate it.

Jacqueline Coley:
Teyana, I want to get to you real quick before we have to … I want to make sure everybody … because everybody here has a hero moment. Everybody here has a hero moment. Y’all do it. I think there’s a lot of legacy trying to do another Coming 2 America dance number, and sis, let me just say [crosstalk 00:19:21] legacy. As Luenell said in the pre-interview, you took that Prince legacy. But to me, if I read that script, I’d be like, “So you really go put the stuff that everybody’s going to be clocking on me. Cool.” So what was that like for you? Because you’ve got to perform it. It’s even more, I think, than the acting. You’ve got to do the dancing, the acting, and the singing. It’s a lot.

Teyana Taylor:
Yeah, it definitely was a lot. I think the singing, the big performance was added on a little bit later. So it was just like when I heard I was doing it, I was like, “Okay, I’ve got way too many big shoes to fill.” Now, I mean with that scene it’s also like reenacting the original. So it was kind of like, “Damn. I’m going to do … Oh my God. This is too much.” But I pulled through.
I mean, it was

Jermaine Fowler:
You owned it. You owned it. That was beautiful.

Jacqueline Coley:
You owned it. Yeah.

Tracy Morgan:
We had the original cast here to give us the support and the guidance. When we followed the expectations, we got a thumbs-up. That’s why the first thing I said, Teyana, you did a great job, man, but we ain’t do it by ourself. We had the original cast there with us.

Jacqueline Coley:
Yeah. Also-

Tracy Morgan:
They gave us that quiet confidence to let us know we on the right path.

Jacqueline Coley:
I mean, it’s evident in the film. When people get to see it, they’re going to understand not only the love that went into it, but the care and the thoughtfulness. Rotimi, I want to talk about you, because you guys had Fatima Robinson, who people do not know. She also choreographed the Remember the Time video. I mean, this is literally like if … So I would be intimidated taking moves from Fatima Robinson, but maybe you were like, “Nah, I got this.”

Rotimi:
Hell, yeah, it was intimidating. I’m not even going to front. No, it was cool, because it was a collaborative thing. We had to figure it out really, really quickly. So she had an idea. I had an idea. But she was like, “Ultimately, just do what you feel,” and it just came together so perfectly. When you’re working with the best in anything, man, you can just feel that aura and feel the energy. So I was like, “Let me just trust what she’s saying,” and it was really dope.

Jacqueline Coley:
All of my So Think You Can Dance people, we know it’s … Literally, when I saw that line on the credits, I jumped up. I was like, “Yay.” I think we’re going to have somebody joining us pretty quickly with special guests. But Luenell, before our guest comes in, I want to talk to you about the party, because that party … No spoilers, but the party at the end, I was jealous of every extra, every last service person, anybody.

Luenell:
Let me just say that there is not a Black actor, older, middle-aged, or younger in this town or any town that didn’t want to have just a little piece of this movie. That party at the end, of course, Randy Watson, my favorite, and all the other musical artists and the fact that we all … It was like a big climax at the end that we all got to be together and dance around and stuff like that. Plus, mentioning Fatima, I have to just give a special shout of love out to her, because my daughter did get a chance to audition for her. Fatima is her idol. My daughter is a professional dancer. She got cast. So my daughter and I have been in our first motion picture together, and it’s this. It don’t get no better than that.

Jacqueline Coley:
I love that. Folks can spot her. She’s, I think, over the left shoulder of Teyana in a couple of the hero shots. I think they definitely got her up front. General knows how to make an entrance. Let’s say it, Mr. Wesley Snipes.

Luenell:
Wow.

Wesley Snipes:
What’s all these Black people doing there? What’s all these Black people doing there?

Luenell:
Wesley.
Jacqueline Coley:
First of all, let me just say I’m so happy to be talking to you. Again-

Wesley Snipes:
talking to me.

Jacqueline Coley:
I’m living for this. Okay. But I wanted to talk to you about the general. Look, he makes an entrance to the movie. He just comes in with just so much swag and bravado.

Luenell:
Swag, swag.

Jacqueline Coley:
I’m just curious how you and Eddie talked about it, because you kind of make Eddie look like a geek a little bit. Akeem looks like a geek in relationship with the general. I’ll just go ahead and say it.

Wesley Snipes:
It’s not me. It’s a product of Zamunda. You see, if he was an [inaudible 00:23:57], he would have more swag. Unfortunately, he’s

Jacqueline Coley:
Well, I definitely want to mention this because you have an amazing fight scene at the end with the women of Zamunda. And look, this is another Fatima Robinson moment in the sense of you have had a lot of martial arts things that are incredible. I’m just curious, was Bella Murphy like, “I can’t hit Blade. Like I can’t. I’m not even” Because I might.

Wesley Snipes:
No, I don’t think they cared about that at all. From what I remember and the Bengay.

Jacqueline Coley:
They were about it? Where they about giving it to you, KiKi and Akiley, too?

Wesley Snipes:
Oh yeah, absolutely. With great enthusiasm, I might add.

Jacqueline Coley:
Great enthusiasm. And I didn’t get to ask you this line, but I did get to ask everyone when they came in, because again, the legacy of this movie is just absolutely incredible. There’s people, still to this day, from Beyonce, and I would even say, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira, they threw a Coming to America party, but I’m just curious if you have a favorite line or quote or moment from the original. I got some amazing answers from your panelists. I wish you were here. It was absolutely hysterical. So what’s yours?

Wesley Snipes:
Oh see, now I can’t compete against them, all of those wonderful, funny folks over there. But I have to admit that in the original, I was most impressed and most delighted by the opening sequences of the African dance scenes, or the African dancers. Yeah, their opening [inaudible 00:25:54] that big pomp and circumstance and regalia, I love that. That stood out the most to me. I wanted to be.

Luenell:
There were no weak women in the original. All the women were majestic, from the flower girls to everything, and there’s no weak women in this one.

Jacqueline Coley:
Yeah, and it’s a family movie.

Luenell:
Yeah, coming off of Black Panther and the fight scenes with the women and coming into this, which the link there, let’s give a shout out to Ruth Carter, but the wardrobe. The wardrobe, the wardrobe, the wardrobe. Oh my gosh.

Jacqueline Coley:
Yeah, I was mesmerized and I’ll just put it out. I’m calling my shot right here and now. Academy, I hope you’re listening. Y’all better pay attention to these costumes. Listen, she did herself another point because Zamunda is fairy tale like, so I think where Black Panther tried to keep it a little grounded, Ruthie Carter on this one just said, “I’m going to do whatever I want to make it as big and as loud as possible.”

Luenell:
There was material we had never even seen before. The dresses with the [inaudible 00:27:03] and that dress that Nomzamo had to wear, that was so heavy, the big red dress-

Jacqueline Coley:
That’s what I was going to ask you. I was going to ask Jermaine and Nomzamo, that overhead shot is gorgeous when people. I was thinking to myself how? Because he’s got to push fabric… Yeah.

Nomzamo Mbatha:
Underneath my train, there was one of the wardrobe assistants and she was on a cart and I was pulling a human being as I was walking. That’s how big my train was.

Jacqueline Coley:
And Jermaine, did you have to keep a straight face? Because I would be the whole time being, “There’s a person.”

Nomzamo Mbatha:
First of all, I am tiny so having to pull a human being and a train and look glorious and trying to be like.

Jermaine Fowler:
And you killed it. And you killed it. But I’m laughing because I know she’s kind of.

Nomzamo Mbatha:
We would sway. Jermaine would be like, “You’re swaying”

Jermaine Fowler:
We were leaning to the left, sometimes to the right. I would walk faster than her. I’ve never been married before so I don’t know. I’m sorry, baby.

Jacqueline Coley:
You’ve developed a walk, too. It wasn’t just her. Your character, I don’t want to give too much away, but he approaches his royalty in a different way and I think it’s really, I think, an immigrant tale in that respect, just from a different continent and so it’s really great.

Jermaine Fowler:
Definitely. He starts to get his bearings, but it isn’t without the support of the people around him when he starts to realize that. He doesn’t take it seriously at first and then he starts to.

Jacqueline Coley:
Yeah. I loved the montage of him becoming a prince. Wesley, Mr. Snipes, I have to ask you about this because it is the first thing I noticed in the trailer. That hair though. That hair though. There’s some intricate hair, makeup, costumes, but that hair, I’m going to give you the last word before we get out of here. Was that something y’all discussed or you were just like, “I’m going to have this”?

Wesley Snipes:
Yeah, yeah, we discussed it. Stacy and I had a good discussion about it. You try to find a little bit of a traditional, ancient and some animal reference to it. So he had a Ridgeback type of hair do. A Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Jermaine Fowler:
Ridgeback.

Wesley Snipes:
My sister, she knows what I’m saying.

Nomzamo Mbatha:
What are you talking about?

Wesley Snipes:
Jacqueline Coley:
Oh, this was such a joy. I wish we could talk forever but

Luenell:
Yeah, we literally could talk for like two hours about this.

Jacqueline Coley:
I know, but we do have to get out of here. I want to thank all of you for watching. We’re going to continue with the press conference. I want to thank the cast here. And again, folks, you can see Coming 2 America on Amazon Prime on March 5th. Thank you guys so much.

Tracy Morgan:
Thanks, you guys.

Jermaine Fowler:
Happy black history month.