Last summer, when it was announced that Mike Epps was taking on the role of Richard Pryor in a Lee Daniels-directed biopic, many people wondered what happened to Marlon Wayans, who had been going after the role. There were also earlier rumors that Nick Cannon had been picked, but those were quickly squashed.
In a recent interview, Richard Pryor’s ex-wife, Jennifer, stated why Epps was chosen. “I think Mike has a rawness about him that is very similar to Richard’s rawness. You know what I mean? Nick is a delightful person; I think he’s a very nice guy and I think the same of Marlon, but I don’t feel their rawness. That’s not an insult, it’s just a fact. Some people look kind of shattered when they walk into a room, and Mike’s got that vulnerability, and you can identify that. Marlon doesn’t have that; nor does Nick,” Pryor stated.
Now the world can see whether Wayans possessed that “rawness” she spoke of, since his audition tape was leaked this week. In the clip, Wayans touches on Pryor’s drug usage and relationship with his ex-wife. The video also includes Omar Epps as his psychiatrist.
The Pryor biopic is still in the early stages of production and is slated to be released early next year.