The cast of the upcoming Nina Simone biopic just got more interesting. Confusion and downright opposition from some over Zoe Saldana playing the singer has hardly subsided, but now there’s word Mike Epps will be playing the role of Richard Pryor in the flick.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
Cynthia Mort wrote the script and is directing the drama, which traces Simone’s ascent to stardom and her relationship with her Paris-based manager Clifton Henderson, played by David Oyelowo.
In a supporting role, Epps will play Pryor, who opened for the singer when they two were starting out in the early 1960s. Pryor had terrible stage fright and Simone, in her autobiography, recalled how she regularly rocked him into calmness.
Shadow and Act obtained the casting call sheet for the role of Pryor which was to be played by an actor between 40 and 60, under this guise:
Well you all know him and his brilliance is hard to find but show us what you got for this one. He was friends with Nina and performed at the same venue with her when they were younger. Richard, like Nina, had a particular kind of brilliance, wit and edge.
Mike definitely has all the qualities wrapped up in that last sentence, and according to some he was the best thing about the movie ”Sparkle.” If he can bring that edginess to this role this could be another breakout part for him, assuming this film does come to life.
Do you think Mike Epps can pull off Richard Pryor?