With director Craig Brewer’s Dolemite Is My Name now streaming on Netflix, I recently sat down with Craig Robinson and Mike Epps to talk about the film. During the interview, they talked about how the film is both dirty and sweet, what surprised them about Rudy Ray Moore’s story, why Brewer was the right person to helm the film, and more.
If you have yet to see the trailer for Dolemite Is My Name, the crowd-pleasing biopic written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski is about a struggling comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) as he struggles to break through as an entertainer any way he can. One day he comes up with the comic persona Dolemite and we follow his journey from recording albums in his living room to becoming a Blaxploitation success at the box office. It’s an incredible true story, a fantastic film, and Eddie Murphy hasn’t been this good in years. Absolutely recommended. For more on Dolemite you can read Matt Goldberg’s review. The film also stars Tituss Burgess, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Wesley Snipes and Keegan-Michael Key.
Check out what Craig Robinson and Mike Epps had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about. You can also watch my interview with Eddie Murphy here and here’s my interview with director Craig Brewer.
Craig Robinson and Mike Epps:
- How the film is both dirty and sweet.
- What were they surprised to learn about Rudy Ray Moore?
- What was it like working with Craig Brewer?
Stung by a string of showbiz failures, floundering comedian Rudy Ray Moore (Academy Award nominee Eddie Murphy) has an epiphany that turns him into a word-of-mouth sensation: step onstage as someone else. Borrowing from the street mythology of 1970s Los Angeles, Moore assumes the persona of Dolemite, a pimp with a cane and an arsenal of obscene fables. However, his ambitions exceed selling bootleg records deemed too racy for mainstream radio stations to play. Moore convinces a social justice-minded dramatist (Keegan-Michael Key) to write his alter ego a film, incorporating kung fu, car chases, and Lady Reed (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), an ex-backup singer who becomes his unexpected comedic foil. Despite clashing with his pretentious director, D’Urville Martin (Wesley Snipes), and countless production hurdles at their studio in the dilapidated Dunbar Hotel, Moore’s Dolemite becomes a runaway box office smash and a defining movie of the Blaxploitation era.
Comics and rappers have praised Moore as a pioneering influence over the past few decades, and Dolemite Is My Name is a hilarious celebration of a singular talent who made his own legend. From director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Empire); Emmy and Golden Globe-winning writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, The People vs. O.J. Simpson); and the producing team of Oscar and Golden Globe nominee John Davis (Ferdinand, Joy), Golden Globe nominee John Fox (Joy) and Murphy; the film features an all-star supporting cast — including Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Snoop Dogg, Ron Cephas Jones, Barry Shabaka Henley, Tip ‘TI’ Harris, Luenell, Tasha Smith — plus costumes designed by Academy Award winner Ruth E. Carter (Black Panther).