Legendary comedian Richard Pryor’s widow Jennifer Pryor has reportedly given comic actor Mike Epps her blessing to play her late husband on the big screen.
Epps has been cast as Pryor in Nina, an upcoming biopic about soul music icon Nina Simone. The film has been the source of a major casting controversy — Simone fans have objected to Zoe Saldana’s winning the lead role, because she bares no resemblance to the late singer. But Epps’ addition to the movie has been largely well received.
Mrs. Pryor told TMZ that Epps reached out to her personally to get her support.
“That was very sweet and respectful that he called me first. I am happy that they picked him. He is a real good guy,” she said.
The fourth and seventh wife of Richard Pryor (they were first married from 1981-1982, then divorced, and married again from 2001 until his death) is such a fan of Epps, she now hopes to tap him for another big screen biopic about the late comedian himself.
Mrs. Pryor appears to have dramatically changed her opinion of Epps. A Richard Pryor film has long been in development and when Epps was previously rumored for the role back in 2009, she allegedly called him a “punk a**” and “country.”
As for Eddie Murphy, who has been long rumored as favorite for the Pryor big screen role, Mrs. Pryor told TMZ, “Having Eddie Murphy play Richard Pryor would be like having Al Jolson play Malcolm X.”