'Tower Heist' stars Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller discuss their criminal pasts

Tower-Heist-Stiller-Murphy

Image Credit: David Lee

For Tower Heist (in theaters Nov. 4), comedy titans Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy team up for the first time ever as two members of an unlikely group of blue-collar bandits out to snag $20 million from a corrupt Madoff type (Alan Alda) who made off with their pension fund. It’s a major act theft — especially considering there’s a recession on — and while the stars of the upcoming comedy caper may have never attempted larceny so grand in real life, they don’t have completely clean slates, either. As luck would have it, both actors have had some experience with the five-finger discount.

“I used to steal sunglasses all the time as a teenager,” says Murphy, who plays a petty thief enlisted to help plan the big steal. “You know, from that round sunglasses display at the grocery store.” Similarly, Stiller — in the movie, the titular tower’s betrayed chief of staff — had his own experiences pulling off very miniature heists. “When I was a kid, there was this mini-shoplifting phase that happened,” Stiller says. “I stole a lot of Dubble Bubble.”

The bubblegum may explain the sticky fingers, but Murphy can do him one better. “I actually stole some hubcaps my first year on Saturday Night Live,” he says. “I would park my car in Freeport on the Long Island Rail Road, and then ride it into New York. I came back one day and I saw some nice hubcaps, popped them off of someone else’s car, and then when I got home, I was on TV.” Luckily, Beverly Hills Cop soon set him on the path of law and order (and awesome theme music).

For more on Tower Heist — and more of this fall’s biggest releases — check out Entertainment Weekly‘s Fall Movie Preview Issue, on stands now.

Read more:
This Week’s Cover: Fall Movie Preview

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  • Marcelina

    I wish Eddie Murphy would just do movies for adults again like he used to and cease doing children’s films. It would be sad and disappointing if he doesn’t.

    • Monty

      Sad and disappointing would be an accurate account of his choice of movie roles over the past decade +…

    • Darrin

      I agree, but I saw the trailer, and it looks surprisingly good, especially considering the recent track records of Murphy and Stiller and the fact that it’s directed by Brett Ratner.

  • The Real Thang

    Pootie Tang is a great movie.

  • virgil carter`

    Eddie Murphy is a great actor in all his movies. Just like michael Jordan was the best, but not every single shot went in. Some movies are a slam dunk billion dollar hit and some movies are just a quiet lay-up, but Eddie still scores big by being versitile!

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    Makes me miss a great TV show starring Donal Logue called KNIGHTS OF PROSPERITY

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