In “Coming 2 America,” Eddie Murphy’s character, Prince Akeem Joffer, lives in a sprawling fictional palace called Zamundan, but in reality, it is the mega-mansion of one of rap’s biggest names — Biggest Boss Rick Ross.
Ross offered his estate to the producers of the film and mentioned in a virtual tour of the home that it is, indeed, used in Murphy’s latest. In the video, Ross says there are usually “18-20 people” who want to see the mansion and that his team charges them an entry fee to look around. Other films that have shot at the location include “Superfly.”
The palatial home in Woosley, Georgia, was the former residence of boxing legend Evander Holyfield and spans over 109 rooms, 235 acres and more than 50,000 square feet, with Google Maps listing the location as a museum.
“Coming 2 America” production designer Jefferson Sage told Architectural Digest that the enormous living quarters were perfect to convert into a palace fit for Zamundan royalty. “Our goal was to honor the original and update it,” he said. “We discussed the storybook fairy-tale nature of the story of Zamunda and the lifestyle they have, where it comes from and how it informs things.”
The set designers redid some of the rooms in Ross’ home, but used CGI for other, more costly renovations, like the tile and walls. There were some permanent changes to the home, though. “They changed the wallpaper in the dining room so I asked them to keep it up there,” Ross told Variety. “They also created that huge dining room table for a dining scene that seats 50-60 people, and they left that for me as a gift. It’s humungous.”
Set decorator Doug Mowat licensed authentic African art from an art dealer in Paris to create the overstuffed, maximalist look that the palace’s luxurious rooms have, and used Ross’ real bedroom for the kingly suite.
“This is the ruling family of Zamunda for the past hundred years. We see ancestors in the paintings and use layers and layers of old stuff dating back to tribal origins,” Sage said.
Catch “Coming 2 America” streaming now on Amazon Prime.