Mike Epps is ready to take on the role he’s been waiting for his entire career, Richard Pryor. The brilliant comedian/actor will finally have his chance to play his idol in the controversial biopic about Nina Simone. Mike will be a supporting actor to Zoe Saldana, who despite the ridiculous controversy about her being Latina, instead of black and too light skinned to play the iconic figure, will smash this role. The firey actress (Avatar, Columbiana) never leaves audiences without a passionate performance. Sources say she has been working with famed voice coach Denise Woods who is known for getting brilliant performances out of actors like Will Smith, Idris Elba, & Anthony Mackie, so this should be good!
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.