The actor called it the greatest compliment he'd ever received.
Hollywood biopics are oftentimes a hit or miss. While the lives of some of our favorite entertainment figures are certainly compelling enough for their own feature films or miniseries sagas, the actors portraying well-known characters aren't always up to par. There have been plenty of actors who have imitated boxing legend Mike Tyson, whether it be for parodies or serious roles, and in 1995, Michael Jai White tackled the legend in the film Tyson. It wasn't an easy feat, but there was one person who thought that White did an excellent job taking on the title character.
"Two of my greatest compliments came from Eddie Murphy, in my life," White said. "Eddie Murphy's a freakin' icon, a god to me. I remember a friend of mine brought me to the Nutty Professor set. I didn't know what to expect, right? I'm standing there and all of a sudden there's this fat dude walkin' with an entourage of people behind him. The fat dude comes and walks straight up to me, looks me in the eye, shakes my hand and I noticed his hand was all puffy and squishy, right. And then, he's telling me, 'You know, I saw the Mike Tyson movie. Mike Tyson is a friend of mine. I wanted to hate that movie, but you were a better Mike than Mike was.'"
"As he's talkin', I'm thinking, what is this fat dude talking to me about? But I'm going, he sounds familiar," White continued. "Turns out that's Eddie Murphy. I didn't know! Nobody knew he was playing a fat dude. This was while he was shooting the movie so I didn't know what to expect... Eddie Murphy told me that. We became friends after that. That was my biggest accolade in my life was for Eddie Murphy who didn't want to like the movie because of his affiliation with Tyson, and then with him also telling me how much he liked Black Dynamite." Watch White's clip below to hear more about his forthcoming film The Outlaw of Johnny Black, his follow-up to Black Dynamite.