It’s no secret Coming To America is considered sacred among Black folks everywhere, so it should come as no surprise that new faces chosen to be in the sequel, Coming 2 America, take being in the film pretty seriously.
Cassius Life sat down with Jermaine Fowler, who takes on the role of newly-crowned King Akeem’s (Eddie Murphy) long-lost son, Lavelle Junson, in the Coming 2 America. Akeem learns about his son from his dying father, King Jaffe Joffer, who instructs his son to find his “bastard son” to maintain their rule over Zamunda, keeping the crown out of the hands of Nexdoria’s ruler General Izzy.
Like in our interview with fellow cast member Rotimi, we asked Fowler what his reaction was to learning he landed the role in the highly anticipated sequel. The 32-year old actor revealed he got emotional after learning that he landed the role opposite of comedic legend. “The original means so much not just to me, just on a global, universal level, everyone loves the movie,” said Fowler. “So, when I found I got the role, I was super happy, I cried because of how much it meant to me.”
We also asked if Fowler was nervous about being in Coming 2 America, given that the first film is considered a classic, and the idea of a sequel didn’t sit well with some fans. Fowler revealed he wasn’t nervous. He already had a relationship with Murphy because he worked with the legendary comedian’s son Miles Murphy. The original cast returning also curbed any reservations he had about being in the movie.
“I wasn’t nervous cause I was in the film,” explained Fowler. “The only nerves I had were just that…I was more concerned about if I was doing the best I can to ground my character and to make sure it’s going to connect with the viewer when they saw it. That was it. I already knew Eddie before I got the role, me his and son (Miles Murphy) we write together, so there were the times I hung out at the house so I kinda already knew Eddie before then.”
“I just knew as long as Eddie was there, as long as Arsenio and Shari were there and everyone giving their 110% on set, and you know all that energy would kind of translate to the film. I saw it twice, and it definitely translated. It was definitely like a seamless transition. Everybody got acclimated very quickly. We all respected each other. We were all there for the same reason, which was to make a worthy sequel. That was in the back of our heads every day, every scene. We wanted to make sure we were just living up to that expectation. I definitely think we knocked it out of the park.”
During our roughly 10-minute discussion, Fowler also spoke about working with legendary SNL alum Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan, who plays his mother and uncle in the film, which one of the Zamundan royal amenities he wished he could have, Ruth E. Carter’s work on the Zamunda royal attire and much more.
You can watch Cassius Life’s interview with Jermaine Fowler above and catch Coming 2 America when it premieres on Amazon Prime on March 5.
Photo: Coming 2 America / Jermaine Fowler