Mike Epps will portray late comedic genius Richard Pryor in an upcoming film about jazz legend Nina Simone. Epps got the blessing of Pryor's widow, Jennifer Pryor, when he personally reached out to her to ask for permission.
"That was very sweet and respectful that he called me first. I am happy that they picked him. He is a real good guy," Jennifer told TMZ.
Because of Mike's gesture, Jennifer is also considering him to portray her husband in an upcoming biopic.
Jennifer is producing the movie and says she believes Epps is one of the few actors capable of an "authentic portrayal" of Pryor.
One actor/comedian who Jennifer will never allow to portray her late husband is Eddie Murphy. Jennifer adds that Pryor would want "someone authentic like himself" in that role.
"Having Eddie Murphy play Richard Pryor would be like having Al Jolson play Malcolm X," she said. (Jolson is an early 20th century white actor known for his blackface performances.)
Do you think Mike Epps will be a good fit in the role of Richard Pryor?