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Richard Pryor's Widow

Gave Mike Epps Blessing

To Play Comic Legend

10/18/2012 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1016_epps_pryor_tmz_getty
Actor Mike Epps personally reached out to Richard Pryor's widow before agreeing to play the comic legend in a new movie, TMZ has learned -- and it might've been the smartest thing he's ever done.

Jennifer Pryor tells TMZ, she was touched by the gesture -- saying, "That was very sweet and respectful that he called me first. I am happy that they picked him. He is a real good guy."

FYI -- Epps is slated to appear as Pryor in the new film about jazz legend Nina Simone

But Mike Epps wasn't just being polite, he also made a real smart move ... because Jennifer tells us, thanks to Epps' courtesy call, she's now considering the comedian to play Pryor in an upcoming Richard Pryor biopic.

The Pryor movie is still in development, but Jennifer -- who's acting as a producer on the film -- says she believes Epps is one of the few actors capable of an "authentic portrayal" of Pryor.

As for the one person she does NOT want to play Pryor ... his name rhymes with Schmeddy Burphy.

Jennifer tells us, "Having Eddie Murphy play Richard Pryor would be like having Al Jolson play Malcolm X." (Jolson is an early 20th century white actor known for his blackface performances.)

We literally have no idea why Jen's got a thing against Eddie Murphy, but she says Pryor would NEVER have wanted Murphy to play him -- "He would want someone authentic like himself."

28 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

jayman419    

Back in the day, Murphy was as real as a ***** gets. But he's too busy helping trannies get computer classes to do much reppin.

682 days ago
17.

Carl    

Eddie Murphy has been awful since the early 90s. I'm amazed how he's been able to keep getting work based on things he did 20+ years ago. Anyway, Epps will be a good choice I think.

682 days ago
18.

myopinion    

I think he is a GREAT choice!

682 days ago
19.

Sassy    

How cool of him to call her. I love Mike Epps' smile.

682 days ago
20.

Stevie Mack    

Mike Epps has great range and so does Marlon Wayans. I’m surprised tmz didn’t mention Marlon in this article. As to how she feel about Eddie Murphy has to do with personal business, lord only knows what happened there.
No doubt Eddie could play the role, he’s a comedic genius. Marlon won me over in Requiem for a Dream, that’s when I know he could bring it.
Mike Epps most recent role in Sparkle demonstrates his flair for the dramatic and we already know he’s hella funny on the comedy side.

681 days ago
21.

backfire    

I say JAMIE FOX

681 days ago
22.

Jack Mehoff    

This bitch is Bipolar. A year ago she said the same about Mike Epps as she just did about Eddie Murphy. She has no clue what the **** she is saying or doing. She even went on record to say that Pryor never liked Epps. Eddie Murphy would nail Pryor considering he not only done a movie with him in which Pryor played his father(Harlem Nights), but he also does a great impersonation of him, so what the hell is she talking about. Just because Eddie appeals to white America more than Epps is the key to selling a Pryor biopic.

649 days ago
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