Eddie Griffin thrives on his outrageousness, and with an audience, even the press, he doesn’t disappoint, as Garth Franklin discovered when he tried talking to the comic about his return to Deuce Bigalow territory. This interview speaks for itself.
Question: Were you happy to step back into those shoes again?
Griffin: Most definitely.
Griffin: Because it was in Amsterdam. You can see inside the film that my eyes are never red.
Question: What was it like working oversees?
Griffin: I’d never been to Europe, so this was my first trip to Europe, so it was a culture shock. I arrived there and they’ve got a coffee shop with no coffee.
I’m calling back to the hood, I’m like, ‘Dawg, I don’t give a fuck how, get a plane ticket.’ It’s like a little candy story and they’ve got the little glass. You’ve got your chronic. You’ve got your hydro. Yeah. You sit out in front and [exhales]. That’s when I knew America wasn’t free.
Question: When did the stuntman take over during the cat scene?
Griffin: The stuntman never got to work. That’s Mike trying to be funny. I had that cat strapped to my nuts. He wasn’t that heavy. It was a really old stuffed cat.
Question: Is that how you saw your career going?
Griffin: Oh yeah, getting a little pussy. That’s why we all get into show biz for, to get a little pussy.
Question: Where do you go from here?
Griffin: Get some big pussy.
Question: Do you like to mix and match genres?
Griffin: Yeah. In real life you’re not funny 24-hours-a-day. Everybody’s 360 degrees. There’s other slices of Edward Griffin that want to get exercised also.
Question: What projects are you looking at?
Griffin: I’m looking for the Miles Davis story. I’m also looking for the Sammy Davis Jr. story. We’re actively pursuing the Sammy Davis Jr. story. Right now we’re just waiting on the proper script. David [unintelligible] and Altovise, Sammy’s wife, are producing. We’re trying to get Denzel to direct. If I can get Denzel to direct [in Sammy voice] look out, man, Oscar time.
Question: What happened with the Richard Pryor story?
Griffin: That was at least a 10 year process. You’ve just got to take your time and really study the person you’re portraying, especially an icon like Richard, Miles or Sammy. You’re dealing with that kind of energy. If you don’t do it proper, you’re going to be mad at yourself and then the whole public or fans of that person are gonna be pissed at your ass, so you’ve gotta do your homework and don’t rush it.
Question: How do you let it go?
Griffin: This is how you let it go: fuck ’em. It wasn’t really them telling us how they wanted it to go. It was more so Richard’s wife and Richard saying how they wanted his life portrayed and Showtime originally agreeing with them.
Richard’s life was wild. When you put that truth to Richard’s life… I mean he grew up in a brothel. His grandmas ran a ho house. At age nine, he’s sitting there watching his mother get banged by a john. So we shot all this shit and when the final product came in, Showtime’s like, ‘Oh, I dunno if we can touch that.’ That’s pretty much what happened there.
Question: Has TJ grown and changed?
Griffin: Hell no. He’s still retarded. He just moved to Amsterdam because prostitution ain’t legal in America. His entrepreneurial spirit took to Amsterdam where he could have a plethora of he-bitches without worrying about going to jail.
Question: Where is the line in gross-out comedies?
Griffin: Man, there is no line. Who comes up with the line? Who created the damn line? This is supposed to be a free society in America, but we act like we’re policing adults. If you look at films in the ’70s that Richard Pryor did, or even Bill Cosby with Sidney Poitier, they got away with more shit than we get away with nowadays in film. Did the Vatican take over the MPAA board? What the fuck is really going on? Motherfuckers need loosen up their little tight asses and laugh, motherfucker, it’s a joke. You can’t even use motherfucker in a film no more, that’s the motherfucking problem for my motherfucking black ass.
Question: Has Jamie Foxx’s Oscar opened any doors?
Griffin: We weren’t sitcom stars. We were stand-up comedians. We just happened to have TV shows. Sitcom stars never did stand-up. They never had an attitude with us. Shit, you can go back before that. Richard Pryor — ‘Lady Sings the Blues.’ You can go back to Robin Williams. Hell yeah, it’s easier. The town becomes formula town. One thing works and they just want to put a factory on it. I’m sure they are looking for a little n***** who can play the piano.
Question: Have you learned any bedroom tricks from TJ?
Griffin: What you mean bedroom tricks? shit, I’m the master. I pull out the pole of Moses, part the red sea and let my people go. You understand me?
Question: How did you manage to enjoy Amsterdam and still shoot the film?
Griffin: As you can probably tell, most evenings were ‘Eddie’s out at the club.’
Question: Talk about Irish Jam…
Griffin: This little hustler, he owes this motherfucker some money. The bet is, if I don’t pay him back on time, I have to marry his sister, played by Monique, and he really doesn’t want to marry her. He’s trying to escape and he’s down on his luck and he sees this ad in the paper ‘Send a poem and win your own island.’ He steals some lyrics off of this rap CD, mails it over, wins the fucking contest. He thinks he’s going to Hawaii, Jamaica some shit like that. Ends up the island is Ireland. Of course the Irish village thinks that he’s Irish because his name is Jimmy Mc[unintelligible]. So they’re like ‘Oh, a nice Irish chap.’ They see this brother get off the boat, it’s like E.F. Hutton. One of them’s saying. ‘Like what the fuck.’ So osmosis happens between him and this whole village, how they fall in love with each other…blasé blasé blasé… saves the village from this English lord who’s trying to buy up the whole thing. It’s one of those. Fish out of water.
Question: Are you up for a third Deuce?
Griffin: Most definitely? I want to do it in Shanghai, I told Rob. As long as they put an extra zero behind the check and make the first number real big. I told him I want to go to Shanghai. Because then it’s an action comedy, man. We can throw some martial arts up in there. And I love the Asian honeys. There’s nothing like a little dim sum. I’ll give dim sum, dim sum and dim sum.
Question: You like doing independent stuff, right?
Griffin: Sometimes it’s cool to do shit outside the studio system, because you can stay true to what your vision is and then bring it to the distribution system of the majors. Sometimes at the major studios there’s too much breathing down on the project and it starts ripping it to shreds.
Question: Could Disney have made this sequel?
Griffin: Come on, it’s Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse and Amsterdam don’t go together. Like there’s really going to be a picture of Mickey with a joint in his hand. It just don’t work. Family values is out the window with that shit. I stopped watching Disney after Michael left. He’s a really good friend of mine. Mike. Good old chap. We play golf together. I was pretty much done with Disney then. I’ve been out here 18 years and still ain’t been to Disneyland. I’m more of a Magic Mountain. I want my balls to run up the chest cavity, because you’re coming down a big damn ride, not coming in and Mickey’s the doorman at his own fucking joint. It’s Disneyland and he’s this motherfucker at the door, ‘Welcome.’ Know what I’m saying? Where the fuck Minnie at? Where you hiding that bitch? I ain’t seen her in years. You don’t hang out with your wife? What? She’s with Goofy now? What’s Goofy doing? Somebody’s banging that little mouse. I think it’s Goofy. It’s always the goofy ones. If you look at some of those old cartoons, it was really some freak shit. ‘The Lion King.’ Man, that’s bestiality. She falls in love with a lion. It’s bestiality, but it’s rated G. ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.’ They’ve got stack on each other’s shoulders so they can hit it. Dopey. Sleep. All these little hooked up dope fiend little midgets.