All Articles Tagged "Richard Pryor"

Oprah And Eddie Murphy Secure Roles In Richard Pryor Biopic

August 30th, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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And we’re off… Get ready y’all for #richardpryor @eppsie @oprah

A photo posted by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on

After much speculation that Eddie Murphy and Oprah Winfrey would possibly be joining the cast of the highly-anticipated Richard Pryor biopic, the guessing game is now over.

According to the Daily Mail, both Murphy and Winfrey have been confirmed as cast members of the film. Murphy will play play Pryor’s father, Leroy “Buck Carter” Pryor; Winfrey will play Pryor’s grandmother, who ran a brothel and raised the legendary comic there.

The two will join Mike Epps, who will play Pryor, and Kate Hudson, who is set to play Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor. Epps’ highly coveted, lead role was also auditioned for by Nick Cannon and Marlon Wayans, according to the report. After much deliberation about securing a powerhouse cast, The Weinstein Company and director Lee Daniels are slated to start production in March, after wrapping up the second season of his hit Fox series, Empire.

With such a star-studded cast, this film is sure to be one of the biggest, most talked about productions upon its big screen reveal.

Eddie Murphy May Join Richard Pryor Biopic

March 14th, 2015 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Eddie Murphy is in talks to join the Richard Pryor biopic. The biopic, directed by Lee Daniels will star Mike Epps as the legendary comedian.

Murphy will reportedly play his father, LeRoy Pryor. In addition to Murphy, Entertainment Tonight reported that Kate Hudson will be joining the movie. Hudson would play Jennifer Lee Pryor,  Pryor’s fourth wife and as well as his seventh. The couple married in 1981, divorced in 1982 and then remarried in 2001.

To add fuel to the fire, Daniels posted a picture of himself with Murphy on Instagram with an interesting caption.


If the rumors are true, we’re here for it! How many of our readers are BEYOND READY for a new Eddie Murphy movie?

[Watch] Marlon Wayans’ Kills It In Leaked Richard Pryor Audition Tape, So Why Wasn’t He Picked For The Biopic?

February 24th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Marlon Wayans

When I interviewed Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, I asked her why those behind Lee Daniels’ biopic on Richard’s life didn’t pick the likes of Nick Cannon or Marlon Wayans. When word first got out about a possible film on the comedian’s life, Wayans was attached to the project, which at the time was being produced by Chris Rock. But as time went on, she told me that everyone felt that Wayans was missing a certain brokenness that Richard had. Now Mike Epps? He had it.

“I think Mike has a rawness about him that is very similar to Richard’s rawness. You know what I mean? Nick is a delightful person, I think he’s a very nice guy and I think the same of Marlon, but I don’t feel their rawness. That’s not an insult, it’s just a fact. Some people look kind of shattered when they walk into a room and Mike’s got that vulnerability and you can identify that. Marlon doesn’t have that, nor does Nick.”

But after watching Wayans’ audition tape, which was shared with Shadow and Act, I would have to disagree. There is definitely a rawness in Wayans’ portrayal of the late comedian. Aside from not necessarily sounding exactly like Pryor, or looking just like him (who ever does in biopics though?), he nails Pryors’ mannerisms (from the mouth to the eyes and the way he pronounces different words) and is very believable.

But then again, such rawness is often seen in Wayans’ roles when he takes a dramatic turn. Requiem For A Dream anyone?

Check out the footage for yourself and be warned: This is an impression of Richard Pryor we’re talking about, so be ready for a great deal of expletives. But also be ready to be impressed…


Exclusive: Richard Pryor’s Widow, Jennifer, Speaks On Upcoming Biopic, And Why They Chose Mike Epps Over Nick Cannon

February 6th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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This week, I had the chance to chat with Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, about the documentary on the late comedian’s life, Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, which premiered on Showtime in 2013, and was finally made available on Feb. 3 (purchase here). And while I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from the film, I learned even more in my conversation with Jennifer: from where that biopic on Richard’s life stands, to her issues with his children, and how they met, she had a lot to say and share. Check out our chat:

Why People Should See Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic

I think that there’s a lot in there that heretofore, hasn’t been revealed. Interesting information about the fire was revealed, although, there was even more to be revealed about it because I was there right before it happened. But I just think there are interesting pieces in there that we haven’t seen before. There’s been a lot written about Richard, and documentaries here and there. But mostly it’s been, eh, “E! True Hollywood Story” stuff, which I think is very superficial. I just think this is a lot more in-depth.

The Tea On The New Biopic With Oprah, Mike Epps and…Kate Hudson?

Oprah may be put on as a figurehead producer, but I’m actually hands-on producer with Bruce Cohen and Harvey Weinstein. And Oprah is going to play the grandmother. Mike Epps is going to play Richard, and Kate Hudson is going to play me. But we gotta shoot it first! The script is still being written and we have to approve it. Lee [Daniels] is finishing the script, and I’m working closely with him on that. We’ll get that script done and we’ll start shooting. We’re supposed to start in March in New York, and depending on the shooting schedule, this should be out by next Christmas. We finally have the right combination of people. It took many, many years to get this right, but I feel we have finally gotten it right and I couldn’t be more proud.

Why Mike Epps Beat Out Nick Cannon And Marlon Wayans For The Role

I think Mike has a rawness about him that is very similar to Richard’s rawness. You know what I mean? Nick is a delightful person, I think he’s a very nice guy and I think the same of Marlon, but I don’t feel their rawness. That’s not an insult, it’s just a fact. Some people look kind of shattered when they walk into a room and Mike’s got that vulnerability and you can identify that. Marlon doesn’t have that, nor does Nick. They’re both very talented and their both very likable, they’re both great guys and they’ll obviously be in the business for a very long time, but…it’s just different. When you’re going to play Richard, who’s a very raw person, you have to be able to embody that and identify with that, and Mike can do both.

If She Believes That Comedians Are The Saddest People

It’s true. I was married to Richard twice. We were married back in the day, and when I came back to take care of him, we remarried. Not to say he wasn’t fun to be with, because we had a lot of wonderful, funny and fun times together, but yet, there was a darkness that he would display in private that could be very disturbing and very sad to witness. Very tragic. He did come from a dark place. And the family was interesting because they provided Richard with that material in a great way. The fact that he could turn that pain into magic, into comedy, to me, was some sort of alchemy. It was some sort of wonder. It was absolutely amazing to me that he could do that, and amazing to everyone else. That’s what was Richard’s profound effect in the world of comedy, as well as, just in his work in general. How could he do that? Making a joke about his father punching him in the chest. That’s a sad story, but he did it. He took all that pain and heartbreak and just flipped the switch.

Her Issues With Richard’s Grown Children

Well, I have to tell you that Richard Jr. surprised me because we were on good terms. I was actually supporting him while the kid’s trust was in litigation because Elizabeth [Pryor] sued me. And while it was in litigation I helped him and basically carried him until it was settled and I won. They kept going to court but they kept losing. It was very sad because I kept offering olive branches and they kept swatting them, so it was like, “Okay, well, I tried.” So it was really surprising and hurtful with Richard Jr. I’m not currently speaking to Richard Jr., nor Rain, nor Elizabeth, but I do get along with Kelsey and Steven, the younger ones, and I’m very grateful for that. I share a very warm, loving relationship with them.

How They Met

I worked for Richard first. A friend of mine was working for him and was his right-hand sort-of assistant, and was dating him at the same time. I was an actress/model/songwriter and I needed work and she said, “Well, you can come be my assistant.” I went out and I worked for him for six months. He got married to someone else in the meantime, and he shot [his estranged wife’s] car and all this other madness went down. I didn’t care, I just did my work. But when I met him, I fell in love with him. I just adored him. After all that drama went away, we started dating in December 1977.

Why They Split The First Time

We got married and the fire happened, and obviously there was a lot going on. It was really difficult. Richard had to come to terms with the fact that he attempted suicide, and I think there was a lot of unresolved issues that he had to tangle with. Being married at the same time kind of overwhelmed him. We were starting to argue a lot and it was not good. I moved back to New York and I divorced him, but never stopped loving him. And throughout all of the ’80s and ’90s, we were always back and forth and in touch. I loved him forever.

How They Ended Up Back Together

In ’94, he was in New York and I went to visit him and it was a grim scene: he was drinking and doing drugs. It was very ugly, and there were lots of hangers-on. Ugh. And he said, “You know, I need help.” So I decided to move back and help him and take care of him, which I did for 11 years. He lived his life in dignity and I’m very proud of that period of time, and then he passed obviously. Now I’m carrying on his legacy, which I’m also very proud and happy to do.

On Richard Using “White Honkey Bitch” As Pet Name For Her

He did it on stage in Live on the Sunset Strip. He said, ‘Yeah, my wife thinks her name is white honkey bitch.’ You can hear it in an audio, it’s not actually in the film. But yeah, he would occasionally call me white honkey bitch. And I would say, “Richard, I can’t use the N-word, why can you get away with that?” [laughs] Of course he would say, “Figure it out! I’ll call you what I want to call you.” But it was always done with love. It wasn’t said to put me down.

Why She Thinks He’s The Best Stand-Up Comedian To Do It

Back in the day, he was the man to chase. Even Robin [Williams] chased him in terms of comedy. Robin had an amazing film career but really chased Pryor. Everyone chased him. And now, today, everyone knows it’s written in stone: He’s the king of comedy. He’s the one to try to aspire to even, not beat, because you’re never going to beat Pryor. Again, I think it’s his ability to turn all that pain into comedy. All those stories that if you were maybe sitting over a dinner table talking about, “I grew up in a whorehouse,” people would drop their china, but talking about where he came from and the reality and truth of his life, and turning that into a place where it was okay to laugh–it was genius. He didn’t want to just tell jokes, he finally found his voice. That’s what his voice was, his stories. His truth. That’s what makes him such a genius: His ability to tell the truth and rip the covers off of himself, white people and black people, and humanity in general.


Richard Pryor’s Wife Sues T-Shirt Company For $5 Million For Using The Comic Icon’s Image

January 22nd, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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richard pryorThe wife of the late comic icon Richard Pryor is suing a T-shirt company for using his image without authorization.

According to Jennifer Lee Pryor, Fret Shirt used a picture of Pryor emblazoned with the word “Swag” without her permission. So she’s suing to stop production of the shirts as well as for a piece of the profits. Well, it’s more than a piece–Pryor also wants $5 million in damages, reports TMZ.

Fret Shirt is known for its irreverent tees, and has in the past used the likeness of Breaking Bad and Calvin And Hobbes, reports AV Club.

In court docs, Pryor’s widow says that the comedian won numerous Grammys and Emmys in his legendary career, and that the T-shirt and term “swag” belittle these accomplishments.

The shirt’s official description says it is a tribute to the late Pryor. It reads:  “This great shirt is a great tribute to one of comedy’s iconic legends… From his revolutionary style of stand-up comedy to movies like Stir Crazy, Richard Pryor definitely had SWAG!”

In other Pryor news, many are awaiting the publication of  Scott Saul’s biography Becoming Richard Pryor, which The Washington Post calls “the most detailed and rigorously researched work on the comic’s life and performances.” While this might be so, it is not a complete biography, ending with Pryor’s 1980 accident, which caused severe third degree burns.

Pryor died in 2005.

Oprah To Play Richard Pryor’s Pimp Grandmother In New Biopic, Alongside Mike Epps

August 27th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Looks like Nick Cannon lost out on that much coveted Richard Pryor role, even after that very unfortunate hair cut.

Instead the role went to fellow comedian Mike Epps. And judging by Epps’ past in the dramatic field (see Sparkle), I would say this is a pretty good choice.

And if you didn’t believe it was official, all you have to do is look at Oprah’s Instagram page for confirmation. A couple of weeks ago, Winfrey posted a picture of herself, director Lee Daniels and the film’s star after one of their first read throughs of the script.

So what role will Oprah play?

She’s going to be a pimp.

If you know anything about Richard Pryor, you know his formative years weren’t exactly…conventional. As a child Pryor was raised in his grandmother’s brothel in Peoria, Illinois where his mother was a prostitute. His mother abandoned him when he was 10 and his grandmother, a notoriously violent, woman raised him.

Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer told TMZ, once Oprah got the script she was desperate to play Marie Carter, Pryor’s grandmother because she’s anxious to play a more, meaty and gritty role after her performance in The Butler. 

Richard Pryor’s Kids Against Nick Cannon Starring In Biopic

July 3rd, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Word on the street is that Nick Cannon is being tapped by Lee Daniels to star in a forthcoming biopic about the life of Richard Pryor. Nick spoke briefly to TMZ about the film being in the works, but wouldn’t officially confirm whether or not he would be starring in the project.

“There have been a lot of people out there who have discussed playing this role and been in the works. I never wanna jinx anything because y’all know how movies work. If it’s not in production, it’s not real so. All I’m saying is that I’m doing the work right now. I’m doing everything that I need to do embody it when the opportunity is right. I don’t wanna be one of those actors who says, ‘Oh, I’m out here doing it,’ but then you never see the film.”

He did, however, confess that he has spoken with Lee regarding the role. Interestingly, Richard’s children are not really in favor of this option. According to TMZ, Richard Jr. and Rain Pryor don’t feel that Nick has what it takes to play their father. To add fuel to their opposition, they are also not seeing eye to eye with their stepmother, Jennifer Pryor, right now. They are suppposedly feeling that the movie will dishonor their dad because it has become a “vanity project” for Jennifer. Reports suggest that there are also concerns that Jennifer will “skew” Richard Sr.’s story in the movie to make herself look more favorable.

We hear Richard Jr. and Rain were hoping that Marlon Wayans would be tapped for the role.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise


Richard Pryor’s Grandson Hit With Assault Charges Over Domestic Violence Allegations

April 3rd, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Randise Pryor, Richard Pryor's grandson hit with assault charges over domestic violence allegations.

Source: Facebook

Valentine’s Day is generally a time where couples shower one another with love and affection. However, according to court documents, Randise Pryor, grandson of legendary comedian Richard Pryor, and his ex-girlfriend, Kaly Mason, experienced the polar opposite. For reasons that are unknown at this time, the couple split up and the events following their breakup are quite troubling.

A couple of weeks following their split, Mason went to the 23-year-old’s home to recover her belongings, which led to a disagreement. Their dispute eventually escalated and she says things got physical.

“He took my head and smashed it against the wall,” Mason told the Enquirer. “I didn’t try to fight back and started to leave, but then he pushed me into the bathroom and continued to punch me.”

Mason adds that the attack was so severe, she had to be treated at a local emergency room. In court documents regarding the alleged assault, which were filed on Mar. 1, Mason painted the comedic heir as a terrible boyfriend who treated her “like crap” for the duration of their 5-month relationship. She went on to tell reporters that their relationship was a mess from the start.

“He stayed with me every night. He didn’t have anywhere else to stay [at the time] and didn’t have a job or money. He neglected me, and I felt like he was just using me for a place to stay, for my car, and because I had a job and was making money.”

Pryor has been charged with simple assault and harassment.

What Are They Waiting On?!15 Biopics That Desperately Need To Be Made

February 12th, 2013 - By M A
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Every year there are plenty of odes to some of the world’s most prominent people. This past year it was Abraham Lincoln. It was Alfred Hitchcock. It was Margaret Thatcher. But who should be next to have their life story told on the silver screen? Madame Noire makes its picks for 15 legends who deserve some cinematic recognition.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Harlem Nights”

November 26th, 2012 - By Veronica Wells
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Though critics would almost unanimously agree that Harlem Nights was a hot mess of a film, black folk absolutely love it. I personally, just saw it for the first time last night and I don’t understand what they missed. Sure it might not have been chock-full of Oscar worthy performances but it was a great story, hilarious dialogue between the characters and I’m sure you all have noticed that it was shot beautifully. It’s easily a cult classic. You know the movie, so let’s dig into the behind the scenes details.