This week two important roles were confirmed for director Lee Daniels ‘ highly-anticipated biopic on comedy legend Richard Pryor .
Comedian Mike Epps has secured the lead billing, as Pryor desired before his death from a heart attack in 2005, while Oprah has snagged the role of Pryor’s grandmother, Marie Carter.
Now before you think, “Awh, granny!,” you should know that Pryor was raised in a house of prostitution run by Marie — a violent madame who abused him, after his mother Gertrude — a prostitute, walked out when he was 10 years old.
Eager to earn an Academy Award, Oprah is very excited about the gritty role, which is starkly different than how we’re used to seeing the media queen.
She and Daniels have previously worked together when she starred in Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013), and when she co-executive produced Precious (2009) alongside Tyler Perry .
The role of Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor — who’s also producing the film, has not yet been cast, though Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway are both rumored as frontrunners.
Had to kiss the ring of @jennferLpryor for the blessing !you got to be stong to have been with the king! pic.twitter.com/OxvbjvPqHc
— Mike Epps (@TheRealMikeEpps) August 24, 2014