Leslie Jones improvised most of her lines in ‘Coming 2 America,’ which is amazing

Back in high school I saw Coming to America so many times. I loved the costuming, the set design and especially the story, which was so sweet and funny. It was a blockbuster romcom featuring a mostly Black cast, which didn’t fully register with me as a teenager. I didn’t have high hopes for the sequel on Amazon Prime because it was getting bad reviews and I thought it would be cheesy. However I was totally surprised by how funny and entertaining it is. It’s a feel good movie with throwbacks to the original, multiple dance numbers, excellent music and moments that are so funny I was crying laughing. There are super cringey scenes and parts of it are dumb, but it leans into those and is just delightful overall. So many actors reprised their roles and there are some standout additions. I really liked the actor playing Prince Akeem’s son, Jermaine Fowler, Kiki Layne is also great as his daughter, and Jermaine’s mom Mary, played by Leslie Jones, is just hilarious. It turns out that Leslie made up most of her lines on the spot! She talked about this in a recent interview with Vanity Fair. Leslie also talked about Twitter and how she’s doing in lockdown.

On her line “I’m so hungry I could eat the ass out of a zebra!”
[Laughing] I can’t believe they kept that line. I was told they wasn’t going to keep that. I improvised probably most of them. I played Mary pretty much how I wanted her to be. I know there was a lot of, “Hey, Leslie, can we do one from the script?” and I was pretty much saying no.

She wants to play a villain
First of all, I’ve always wanted to play a supervillain. What’s the one that Angelina Jolie played? Maleficent! Stuff like that, man. Or like, a crazy serial killer.

On if she has pandemic fatigue
I mean, I’ve always lived the pandemic life, so it doesn’t really bother me that much. Everybody else is so unhappy, so that’s what makes me sad–that people can’t be by themselves. I think this is an opportunity to actually really get to know yourself. I don’t know, ’cause I’m good. I’m 53. I’ve been through some traumatic stuff before. It’s part of life.

On Twitter
Of course you take some abuse. But I always talk to Jack [Dorsey] and say, “Look, I’m coming to your club. You need some more security in your club. I’m not supposed to get shot in your club.” Around Ghostbusters, it was really bad. Pretty much since then people are very positive. And you know what? These people are just keyboard warriors. None of them would ever come up and say something to you. Or at least they should be very scared to with me. [Laughing] I will fight you. Ain’t nobody going to walk up to me and say, “You suck, Leslie Jones!”

[From Vanity Fair]

This is just more confirmation that Leslie is awesome without any help from writers. She told Jimmy Fallon in a recent interview that she first met Eddie Murphy when he came to see one of her standup shows pre-SNL. Eddie thought she was so funny (my words, she wasn’t braggy about it) that he came backstage to meet her. I’m just so impressed that she made up her lines, because you couldn’t tell except for the fact that she was so natural and funny.

As for her pandemic lifestyle, she’s said that she was a germaphobe pre-covid and we know she loves TV. I can relate somewhat in that I’m midway between extrovert and introvert but I really miss going to the movies, out to eat and just being around other people. I can’t wait to hug people again. I’m going to put some minor spoilers below so skip the end of this story if you want to save all the details of Coming 2 America for when you watch it. I don’t think they ruin the movie at all though.

Mild spoilers for Coming 2 America 2
So did Leslie and Shari Headley (Lisa) improvise that scene at the engagement party where they’re singing lyrics to The Humpty Dance? I need to know this! Salt and Pepa, En Vogue and Gladys Knight are in this movie! I do not think I am overselling it because I came away from this so happy and just wishing I could have seen it in a full theater. Those are the best movies, the ones you want to share.

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15 Responses to “Leslie Jones improvised most of her lines in ‘Coming 2 America,’ which is amazing”

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  1. Stellainnh says:

    It was dinner & a movie night last night at my house and this was our choice. It wasn’t as good as the first one but I really enjoyed the movie. Lesley Jones was great!

    My family was entertained so the goal of the movie was met in my household

  2. just a small town girl says:

    It was so good! My husband and I made it a date night Friday to watch it; he absolutely loved it, being of the appropriate age to appreciate most of it, and I enjoyed it despite not having half the references/cultural bits. It was still great fun. It’s not 12 Angry Men but it was just really enjoyable and delightful and that’s exactly what was needed right now.

  3. Becks1 says:

    We really enjoyed it! The costumes were great, loved the dance scenes and the music – it was just a really fun movie. Was it perfect? no. Is it going to win any Oscars? Probably not. but it was great for what it was. And Leslie Jones was hilarious in it.

  4. UptownGirl says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the movie!! I have watched the original so many times and once I saw that interview with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, I was hooked to watch it Friday. As for Leslie Jones, I adore her in Ghostbusters and everything she does!! Her improv is spot on as well as her timing, but I nearly choked on my food when she made that comment about the zebra ass!! She was hysterical, tremendous, and was perfect in her role!! And Gladys Knight came was the icing on the cake!!! The entire movie was funny and well done!!

  5. Sayrah says:

    For a sequel it was pretty decent but the original was perfect and didn’t really need one. Totally surprised that Samuel Jackson didn’t reprise his role and where was Patrice?

  6. Snuffles says:

    I enjoyed it! It was never going to be as good as the first one but it was a delightful nostalgia trip.

  7. MonicaQ says:

    It was great nostalgia and Jones was hilarious. I mean, what sequel is better than the original? (Terminator 2 and Empire Strikes Back non withstatnding) But I had a fun trip down memory lane, the costuming was beautiful, and the music numbers great.

    Also Morgan Freeman cracked me up in his bloopers, I almost spit out my Churches biscuit.

  8. Jesus says:

    Love Leslie and the first movie. I was never expecting coming 2 america to be in the same level as the original one, but i thought it would be funnier at least. It has its moments, but I could care less abt LaVelle (i wish the movie focused mainly on Meeka, she was way more interesting) and felt the plot could’ve gone in better directions.
    It bummed me, cause I wanted to love this movie so bad! One of the few sequels I was excited about.

  9. Jess says:

    I’m old enough to have watched and loved Coming to America (and even the Golden Child) back when they first came out. I’ve always loved CTA and especially the barbershop crew. So I was so excited to see this sequel and it did not let me down – esp as a child of 80s music. But my teen son loved it too. And Leslie was hysterical. I love her so much!

  10. Merricat says:

    Leslie Jones is fun to watch in everything she does.

  11. osito says:

    I really enjoyed the sequel, and Leslie made it for me. I thought the plot was kind of dumb, only barely cared about the son’s storyline, but then Leslie started acting up and I was all in. I kind of wish it had been a Buddy movie between she and Shari Headley (Lisa) — the way their friendship blossomed was so wholesome.

  12. Faithmobile says:

    I should have watched this on the 5th. I won’t be crossing the picket line to watch Amazon Prime And I lOVE Leslie Jones.

  13. Angelica Schuyler says:

    Leslie Jones stole the movie. She was so hilarious. We watched it Friday and enjoyed it. It was good fun. My husband laughed so hard throughout the movie that I had to re-watch it Saturday morning just to hear the parts I missed due to his laughter.

  14. Charfromdarock says:

    I loved Leslie in this and it was such a fun movie.

    I remember loving the first one as a kid and was debating whether or not to watch this. I haven’t seen the first one since the ‘80s.

    I clapped when En Vogue and then Salt-N-Peppa came on screen! It was delightful!

  15. Mel says:

    I found it ok but not focusing on the daughter is a missed opportunity. However, reading your comments, I feel alone in being really really bothered that he was essentially date raped. That’s how his son was conceived. And glossing over the other fact that it was his first time, too.