Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Mike Epps Will Play Richard Pryor In Nina Simone Project Starring Zoe Saldana

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 15, 2012 at 5:06PM

Mike Epps has joined the cast of director Cynthia Mort's Nina Simone project, which will star Zoe Saldana as Simone and David Oyelowo as her Paris-based manager Clifton Henderson.
6
Mike Epps

Mike Epps has joined the cast of director Cynthia Mort's Nina Simone project, which will star Zoe Saldana as Simone and David Oyelowo as her Paris-based manager Clifton Henderson.

Epps will play Richard Pryor, in a supporting role. You'll recall Vanessa's review of the film's script, which included her thoughts on how the role could be cast:

Perhaps an older actor would be cast here, since Pryor is introduced in the early 90’s. Another scene with Pryor takes place in 1961, while Pryor and Nina wait backstage to be introduced for their acts [and] a scene with Nina sharing a joint with Pryor, while both reflect on their lives. Maybe a young actor will be cast?

The casting call sheet asked for an actor between 40 and 60, to play Pryor, adding:

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.

So we'd likely be looking at Epps as he is now, representing a younger Pryor, as well as an aged Epps, with makeup, to reflect an older Pryor.

Simone was reportedly instrumental in calming Pryor before he performed; he had terrible stage fright.

The film starts filming this week in Los Angeles, with Mark Burton, Barnaby Thompson, Stuart Parr and Ben Latham Jones producing.

As previously reported, Ealing Studios in the UK, is backing the movie.

By many accounts, Epps was the highlight of this summer's Sparkle remake. Up next, look for him in The Hangover Part III, as well as the thriller Vipaka, with Forest WhitakerAnthony Mackie, and Sanaa Lathan.

While we're at it, here's a list of all the roles that remain to be cast, based on the casting call sheet we received about a month or so ago:

ANDREW STOWNE : Male, African-American, 30s. A young cop. Nina’s husband until their divorce, and father of her child, Lisa Simone…1 Scene

OLIVIA : Female, Caucasian, French, 25 to 30 years old. Young French Nurse who takes care of Nina in France and develops a relationship with Clifton. He is self assured and at ease with her self and quite charming and beautiful and of course , she becomes a true threat to Nina’s relationship with Clifton 3 Scenes

CLIFTON’S FATHER : Male, African American, late 50s to late 60s. Big African-American middle class Chicago guy with dark, engaging presence. 60s – 70. He is one demanding hard to pleas kind of dad – 2 Scenes

CLIFTON’S MOTHER : Female, African American, 50s to 60s. Attractive, middle class African-American woman who is a huge fan of Nina and incredibly proud her son is working for Nina. – 2 Scenes

HEATHER : Female, African American, 24 to 29 years old. Very pretty, slightly slicker than Clifton. She’s the girl Clifton’s been trying to get with for years. A girl used to being the center of attention, she is totally swallowed up by Nina’s charisma and talent. Like a flower in the sun, she wilts… 1 Scene YOUNG NINA SIMONE : Female, African American, age 8 to 11. Looking for a talented girl age 8-11 who can play the piano with ease, grace and guts. She is a tough cookie who has something to show the world. Please only submit African American girls who are talented classically trained Pianists and performers who look like a young Nina. MUST BE ABLE TO PLAY PIANO WELL. – 1 Scene

AL SCHACKMAN : Male GUITARIST, Caucasian 30s to 40s. Nina’s faithful guitar man. We are looking for a skilled guitar player in his early 30s-40s who Nina’s tireless Rock of Gibralter… Music has been good to him and he’s been good to himself…SUPPORTING

GILLE : Male, GUITARIST, African American, 30s to 40s. A very cool cat, African guitarist who Nina may have first met in Paris. He is part of her band for a long time and again we need a real musician here SUPPORTING.

This article is related to: Mike Epps


Shadow & ActNewsletter