Remember that dinner scene in the first ”Nutty Professor” movie – the one where Murphy played multiple members of the family Klump? Audiences adored it so much that Universal decided to build the entire sequel around it. ”It’s basically about the Klump family,” says Segal (who directed 1995’s ”Tommy Boy”). ”The Klumps are all over this movie.” This time around, the supersize Sherman heads to the wedding altar – despite the objections of his sinisterly slender alter ego, Buddy Love.
Thereafter, vast clumps of Klumps – and Jackson as Sherman’s bride-to-be – get in on the action. Which meant that Segal and his crew had to figure out a way to film Murphy’s six different characters mixing it up throughout the film. A daunting task, particularly for some of the other actors. ”They did a lot with blue screens,” recalls Jackson. ”I’d have to act in scenes with Eddie, and he wouldn’t even be on the set. I’d be saying my lines to this tennis ball sitting on a metal stand. Or to a big X on a black flag. It got pretty weird sometimes.”
Ironically, that famous family scene almost didn’t make it into the original ”Nutty Professor.” Recalls makeup maestro Rick Baker: ”The studio tried to cut it. They thought it would be too expensive to do, so Eddie and I spent a couple of days videotaping him as various Klump family members – Granny Klump and Papa Klump – and then showed the tape to the studio. We were like, ‘You are NOT cutting this from the film. It’s the best part.’ ”
Still, the studio didn’t write a blank check for the sequel, so the script had to be put on a strict diet to accommodate the $65 million budget. ”Our first draft would have taken 150 days to film and cost something like $200 million,” admits Segal. ”We tried to do way too much. It wasn’t just the money – Eddie couldn’t have survived all the makeup changes. It would have killed him.”