AceShowbiz - Eddie Murphy avoids drawing on personal heartache for his art because delving into "real stuff" on camera would leave him feeling too emotionally exposed.
The "Coming to America" star admires actors who are able to really tap into aspects of their personal lives for roles, but he isn't prepared to allow himself to let loose emotionally onscreen because it would be too overwhelming.
"It's scary for me to touch real stuff...," he confessed to Antonio Banderas in an interview for Variety's Actors on Actors series.
"One or two times, I've had something on screen that was really, really serious, and there was some pain there. It was rooted to something that was real, but I wasn't making a conscious effort to go touch that and to use it. I had a broken heart, and I'm acting with a broken heart. So the pain comes across, but I'm not doing it on purpose. I think it's fascinating when actors can actually go and dig around. It would be too much for me, because I've seen some actors do it, and after they finish the scene, they'll be on the side, still crying."
"It's beautiful when you see an actor doing that. When you see something that is real."
However, Eddie admits he isn't very good at dealing with emotions in such a raw way.
"For me, I did a scene, not recently, where my father died and it's in the scene, and in real life my dad passed away," he recalled.
"I thought about it when I was doing the scene, but then it was like, 'I'm not touching that.' And I just pretended I was sad, as opposed to letting it really come in me and using it."
"I felt like I would be naked, like you're completely and totally vulnerable to it. And then I was like, 'I'd rather just make a sad face than really cry for real'."