All Articles Tagged "Richard Pryor"
[Watch] Marlon Wayans’ Kills It In Leaked Richard Pryor Audition Tape, So Why Wasn’t He Picked For The Biopic?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
You know what they say about comedians, they have highs and lows. And just because they’re able to make us smile and laugh doesn’t mean they’re doing the same in their own personal lives. See which comedians have suffered their fair share of not so funny drama.
From the looks of things, i.e. set photos, it appears the Nina Simone biopic is going forward with Zoe Saldana playing the lead part. Shadow and Act published a couple of photos they obtained from the set of the new film and what we see so far is pretty interesting.
As the site notes, no one is sure during which stage of the makeup process these candids were captured, but they do reveal some telling bits of the actress’s transformation. On the positive side, Zoe will be donning the afro which Nina was so fond of in the flick and it also appears teeth and a nose fashioned after the multi-faceted singer’s have been created for the actress as well. What remains to be seen is whether Zoe’s skin, which has been the major point of contention for her choice as the lead, will be darkened. I imagine if the artists have taken these other elements of Nina into consideration, they won’t neglect that detail, and it looks as though there is some darkening around Zoe’s neck in these pics. But you never know.
Makeup job aside, in addition to details that Mike Epps is joining the cast as Richard Pryor. It’s also been announced that David Oyelowo has been cast as Nina’s manager, Clifton Henderson, whom according to the NY Times will be portrayed as having some sort of romantic relationship with her — much to the singer’s daughter, Simone Kelly’s, disappointment. So yes, more creative licensing to come.
But for now let’s just stick with what we see before us. What do you think of Zoe’s Nina Simone look so far?