Britt Robertson on Starring with 'Intimidating' Eddie Murphy in Mr. Church

Britt Robertson in Mr. Church with Eddie Murphy
Britt Robertson in Mr. Church with Eddie Murphy

Britt Robertson Opens Up About Working with Eddie Murphy in Mr. Church

The first time Britt Robertson met Eddie Murphy was during a rehearsal for “Mr. Church,” the indie movie about an enigmatic man who cooks and cares for a dying mother and her daughter.

“He was like the most intimidating human being,” Robertson tells Made in Hollywood reporter Kylie Erica Mar. “He came in with his hoodie on. He has glasses on. And I was like: What is about to go down in this rehearsal room? And he just was the sweetest guy. He took off his little hood and then his glasses, super quiet, and then started asking me questions about myself.”

Britt Robertson Got a Glimpse of Eddie Murphy’s Superstar Life during Mr. Church

Robertson, who plays the daughter, Charlotte, in the Bruce Beresford-directed movie opening Sept. 16, says that as she worked with the international superstar from “48 Hours,” “Beverly Hills Cop” and other blockbusters she got a glimpse of what life must be like for him.

“I think he knows probably that he walks into a room and people are probably a little taken aback or starstruck or whatever it is,” she says. “So he really does carry that weight with him but not for any other reason than just everyone else putting it on him.”

Which is why she was so impressed with his nuanced, understated turn as Mr. Church, a book lover with a mysterious past who wins over the reluctant Charlotte and creates the family that he never had.

“When he got into the costume and he showed up to work and he got to set and he was delivering these lines, it felt like he was embodying this character,” says Robertson. “It’s a really difficult thing to do, especially when you’re Eddie Murphy and people know you as this very specific type of character. And the fact that he can throw all of that away and not be afraid, to be simple and still, that’s a really huge thing.” (Watch the “Mr. Church” trailer below)

Eddie Murphy Says Britt Robertson Completely Fooled Him in Mr. Church

The admiration is mutual. “She’s a really good actress,” Murphy says. “And I thought she was a kid for real the first week or two we’re working together. Then I heard her talking about drinking some wine. She’s drinking wine, this kid is drinking wine! She had me believing she was a kid the first two weeks. … Once I realized she was a grownup, she could still make you think she was a kid.”

And while Murphy dared to show another side of himself, the Eddie audiences know from his comedies would occasionally pop up, even if it never made it into the movie.

“There is one scene where he opens the door, and my character hasn’t seen him in a few years and I’m pregnant, and he’s like: ‘Hi!’ and he does this crazy Eddie Murphy smile,” says Robertson. “And I remember we are all like: That’s funny, that’s hilarious and very Eddie. And it’s like that may be too much Eddie and not enough Mr. Church. So there were moments where, as funny as it was — and they were really great and cheerful — there’s a balance in trying to find the character and also the genre and sort of the tone of the film. But I loved when he would bring funny stuff to the film.”