Mike Epps on Richard Pryor Biopic: Lee Daniels Even Made Oprah Audition

Mike Epps on Richard Pryor Biopic: Lee Daniels Even Made Oprah Audition

Actor explains how he went up against Nick Cannon and Marlon Wayans for the lead role.

Published August 3, 2015

While no release date has been confirmed, many are counting the days for the premiere of the major biopic based on the life of comedy legend Richard Pyor. With Lee Daniels at the helm and Mike Epps confirmed as the lead, many are anxiously waiting to see the finished product. Epps stopped by Power 105's The Breakfast Club and shared some words on the grueling auditioning experience and one thing was made very clear: Lee Daniels plays no games.

"I had to audition for that, man," he said after pointing out that he rarely is required to. "Every time I thought I had that movie, I'm walking out the building and I see Marlon Wayans walking in and I'm like, 'What?' Then Nick Cannon going in, and I'm like, 'Man!' So, I had to work for it."

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With such big names competing for the coveted role, the race was pretty stiff, but Epps credits his commitment during the audition to him being chosen. "I think Lee Daniels is the type of director [who] makes everybody audition," he said, "You put it down in the audition room and that's where you really earn it at."

Daniels is so gung ho about his business that he makes everyone who is being considered for a role audition, no matter their experience or status. "I've seen him make Oprah Winfrey audition," Epps revealed. "I come up in the audition place and Lee's inside the room and Oprah's sitting outside reading the thing. And I'm like, 'Is that Oprah right there reading the lines?'... He really likes to see if people [can] make it happen before he hires them... I really worked hard for it."

Fans will have to wait a while to see the results of Daniels's casting choices as the comedian said that prep for the biopic begins in January, 2016, and filming begins in March. 

Watch Mike Epps chat with Charlamagne Tha God and Angela Yee in the clip below:

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Written by Moriba Cummings

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