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Marlon Wayans talks about what it takes to be Richard Pryor

02.22.2010

The LA Times has just published a rather long profile of Marlon Wayans who is set to play famed comedian Richard Pryor in an upcoming biopic which starts shooting in the fall. It seemed like a puzzling casting choice to many at first, and previously the role was set to go to Eddie Murphy, but we all know what his career’s been like these days.

After a “wow” audition, the role went to Wayans, and he talks about why people can expect him to make a good go of it, despite the fact that in recent years, hearing “Wayans” and “comedy” in the same sentence elicits mostly eye-rolls.

"Look, I want to be able to make the stupidest movies ever, because they make people laugh and they make money," Wayans recently said with a smirk. "But that's not all I want to do. And I think I've proven to some people — the ones paying attention — that I can do more. Everybody else, well, they can wait and see and make up their mind."

As for how Wayans got the role to begin with, producer Mark Gordon explains.

"Obviously there are a number of requirements to playing Richard Pryor — you have to be funny, of course, but this role also has so many colors to it that you need to be a strong actor who can handle the dramatic scenes," Gordon said. "There were discussions with Eddie Murphy… Eddie Murphy is a great star, and I have no doubt he would be a great Richard Pryor. But Eddie Murphy is Eddie Murphy in the eyes of the audience. Marlon Wayans is a great actor and will be a great Richard Pryor, but he brings less baggage."

I always viewed casting Eddie Murphy in a Richard Pryor biopic would be like putting Chris Rock in an Eddie Murphy biopic, or Dave Chappelle in a Chris Rock biopic. Each were defining comedic voices of a decade, and it’s hard to view them as someone else because of that. Wayans on the other hand, is a relatively fresh face in this sense, and hopefully he can do Pryor proud in more than just a 10 minute audition.

Extra Tidbit: It's a challenging game to see just how long you can sit through WHITE CHICKS. My record is 38 minutes.
Source: LA Times

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1:30PM on 02/23/2010

It should be fine.

Extra Tidbit: I'd lose automatically. I can't stand that movie, although I'm an avid fan of Little Man.
Extra Tidbit: I'd lose automatically. I can't stand that movie, although I'm an avid fan of Little Man.
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+0
9:40AM on 02/23/2010
"what?! the role went to... the wayans brothers?!... there's more of them?!" - dave chappelle
"what?! the role went to... the wayans brothers?!... there's more of them?!" - dave chappelle
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7:22AM on 02/23/2010
I wanna see a trailer first before I make up my mind!
I wanna see a trailer first before I make up my mind!
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6:07AM on 02/23/2010
sorry double post :(
sorry double post :(
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6:03AM on 02/23/2010

The legend

The legend that pryor is has to be done right no matter who plays him i feel murphy would just use this to inflate his ego more and more 'meet dave' i enjoyed him in then 'life' then 'BH trilogy' and yea the wayans have not done great comedy they have the the right ideas and i always seen marlon to be the thinker, i have the upmost repsect for richard pryor and if this movie fails it will the one movie i will walk out on
The legend that pryor is has to be done right no matter who plays him i feel murphy would just use this to inflate his ego more and more 'meet dave' i enjoyed him in then 'life' then 'BH trilogy' and yea the wayans have not done great comedy they have the the right ideas and i always seen marlon to be the thinker, i have the upmost repsect for richard pryor and if this movie fails it will the one movie i will walk out on
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2:24AM on 02/23/2010
he def has acting chops if you've seen anything serious from him before.
he def has acting chops if you've seen anything serious from him before.
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1:28AM on 02/23/2010
I'm glad Eddie Murphy wasn't cast...I've already seen him play Richard Pryor extremely well in Raw and Delirious. This should be interesting for Marlon Wayans and could be the role that makes him ala Jamie Foxx in Ray.
I'm glad Eddie Murphy wasn't cast...I've already seen him play Richard Pryor extremely well in Raw and Delirious. This should be interesting for Marlon Wayans and could be the role that makes him ala Jamie Foxx in Ray.
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10:46PM on 02/22/2010
They're not gonna give this part to MARLON WAYANS if he didn't nail the part. So I'm sure it will be good.
They're not gonna give this part to MARLON WAYANS if he didn't nail the part. So I'm sure it will be good.
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10:43PM on 02/22/2010

Maybe

Hopefully this is a turning point for Wayans, because I am not a huge fan of his. In some ways I am sad that Eddie Murphy isnt playing the part..but if Marlon really "wowed" the studio people, then full steam ahead!
Hopefully this is a turning point for Wayans, because I am not a huge fan of his. In some ways I am sad that Eddie Murphy isnt playing the part..but if Marlon really "wowed" the studio people, then full steam ahead!
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10:20PM on 02/22/2010
Marlon Wayans as Richard Pryor. Hilarious.
Marlon Wayans as Richard Pryor. Hilarious.
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+1
5:44PM on 02/22/2010

wut??

duh fUCK
duh fUCK
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12:07AM on 02/23/2010
LMAO I laugh everytime i see your user picture!
LMAO I laugh everytime i see your user picture!
4:35PM on 02/22/2010

Gud 4 him, TIME 2 GRO UP Marlon

Mayb now he'll stop with all those stupid overacting comedies, cuz he did a gud job in REQUIEM 4 A DREAM
Mayb now he'll stop with all those stupid overacting comedies, cuz he did a gud job in REQUIEM 4 A DREAM
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+3
4:15PM on 02/22/2010
The guy makes some poor choices but like a few have pointed out he owned Requiem for a Dream. He's a huge Pryor fan and as long as he doesn't just impersonate him for 2 and a half hours like Jamie Foxx unfortunately did for Ray, I think he could turn in a great performance.
The guy makes some poor choices but like a few have pointed out he owned Requiem for a Dream. He's a huge Pryor fan and as long as he doesn't just impersonate him for 2 and a half hours like Jamie Foxx unfortunately did for Ray, I think he could turn in a great performance.
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3:10PM on 02/22/2010

Don't Forget

Marlon Wayans was in Requiem for a Dream. He was great in that movie, better than even Jared Leto. He's got the chops.
Marlon Wayans was in Requiem for a Dream. He was great in that movie, better than even Jared Leto. He's got the chops.
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2:49PM on 02/22/2010

:3

I can't help but to giggle at the idea of hearing his name popping up at next year's Academy Awards and beyond...

"Academy Award nominee/winner Marlon Wayans in... White Chicks 2"

Hahaha!

But seriously, like many people said, he was awesome in Requiem, so I have no doubt he'll do a terrific job here and will probably deserve the now almost obligatory "playing an important black man in a biopic" best actor nomination like Morgan Freeman got this year and Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx,
I can't help but to giggle at the idea of hearing his name popping up at next year's Academy Awards and beyond...

"Academy Award nominee/winner Marlon Wayans in... White Chicks 2"

Hahaha!

But seriously, like many people said, he was awesome in Requiem, so I have no doubt he'll do a terrific job here and will probably deserve the now almost obligatory "playing an important black man in a biopic" best actor nomination like Morgan Freeman got this year and Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne and Will Smith got in the past :P
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2:08PM on 02/22/2010

I believe...

All in all I like this idea. I believe this will work because like everyone else I thought he was superb in Requiem For Dream. Also I believe as a comic, he will take this seriously because Richard Pryor meant so much to so many...

As far as Eddie Murphy goes, I think he would've been great, and it would've a been a great career choice, and a great tribute to someone he respects. So of course he passed!!! Eddie has been actively sabatoging his own career for over a decade now. Who knows
All in all I like this idea. I believe this will work because like everyone else I thought he was superb in Requiem For Dream. Also I believe as a comic, he will take this seriously because Richard Pryor meant so much to so many...

As far as Eddie Murphy goes, I think he would've been great, and it would've a been a great career choice, and a great tribute to someone he respects. So of course he passed!!! Eddie has been actively sabatoging his own career for over a decade now. Who knows why?
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4:53PM on 02/22/2010
Eddie is way too old, and bears almost no resemblance to richard pyror. 15 years ago, that wouldn't have mattered, but biopics spend way too much time on physical proximity, for better or worse. Also, Murphy is so recognizable in his own right, it would just be too distracting.
Eddie is way too old, and bears almost no resemblance to richard pyror. 15 years ago, that wouldn't have mattered, but biopics spend way too much time on physical proximity, for better or worse. Also, Murphy is so recognizable in his own right, it would just be too distracting.
1:45PM on 02/22/2010
i think this is a good idea. the only serious role ive seen him in is requiem, and he did a fantastic job. because of that i got total faith in him.
i think this is a good idea. the only serious role ive seen him in is requiem, and he did a fantastic job. because of that i got total faith in him.
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1:26PM on 02/22/2010
Good for him, but like the post said below, Im not holding my breath
Good for him, but like the post said below, Im not holding my breath
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1:22PM on 02/22/2010
I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Only because he proved he does have some acting chops in Requiem for a Dream. His strongest 'acting' role I've seen. Just have to wait and see. But I won't hold my breath.
I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Only because he proved he does have some acting chops in Requiem for a Dream. His strongest 'acting' role I've seen. Just have to wait and see. But I won't hold my breath.
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1:07PM on 02/22/2010
Actually Marlon Wayans is not a bad choice. I have some faith in him.
But, if Eddie Murphy were cast, and he really embraced it, it could resurrect him to the level he was back in the day. Before Vampire in Brooklyn destroyed his career (and his sanity).

As for White Chicks . . . I could only last the 30 seconds or so I was required to stay in the auditorium while checking the theater when I still worked there.
Actually Marlon Wayans is not a bad choice. I have some faith in him.
But, if Eddie Murphy were cast, and he really embraced it, it could resurrect him to the level he was back in the day. Before Vampire in Brooklyn destroyed his career (and his sanity).

As for White Chicks . . . I could only last the 30 seconds or so I was required to stay in the auditorium while checking the theater when I still worked there.
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12:55PM on 02/22/2010
I'll see how it goes, but I actually think he can pull it off. The Wayans' themselves aren't unfunny, they just make a LOT of unfunny things.

As for the Extra Tidbit; I was at a drive-in (we still have those!) when White Chicks was out and it was sandwiched in between two other movies. I used that hour and a half to sleep.
I'll see how it goes, but I actually think he can pull it off. The Wayans' themselves aren't unfunny, they just make a LOT of unfunny things.

As for the Extra Tidbit; I was at a drive-in (we still have those!) when White Chicks was out and it was sandwiched in between two other movies. I used that hour and a half to sleep.
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12:51PM on 02/22/2010
I would take Robert Downey Jr. playing Pryor over this.
I would take Robert Downey Jr. playing Pryor over this.
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