But Im real conscious about what I do. I dont care what the label is. Im looking at the outcome of it. The script wasnt right. The material wasnt there. I was like, Nah, this is a bad representation for him. So I passed on it. So I think they went and did it, and it didnt come out the way they wanted it to come out.
She had me come inI think she wanted to meet me, just to see who in the f**k told me no? You know what I mean? So I went up there, and it was a house full of peopleit was Richards birthday. It was a house full of his friends. I came by myself and I met everybody, and I sat down with her, and I got to meet Richard Pryor and I asked for a picture. I took a picture with him. We talked and she said, okay, and then it was over with. I went about my business.
Then she called for me to come back up again, to come and sit and talk with her. I was like, Okay. So I went and sat and talked again. We were watching some Richard Pryor tapes and she said, You know, were doing a Richard Pryor movie. Me and Richard, were considering using you. We just want to get to know you a little bit more, lets build a little relationship.
She let some time go by. I guess, dealing with people, and dealing with that certain project thats real sensitive, people got to feel you out. She wanted to see who I was. Hows he going to act? Ive been solid from here to there. Nothing changed, you know what Im saying? Im going to be real with you, aint kissing no a**. Im going to treat you good. Like youre treating meIm going to treat you just like youre treating me. I got a life, you know what I mean? I love Richard Pryor. I love him to death. But s**t, what about my life Im living right now? You know what Im saying? Im living right now.
The only thing I can do is be at your service if you ask me to, and represent the man. The master. Hes a wizard. Hes a wizard of comedy. So everybodys got to bow down to him. My job is to represent him right. In my mind, I already know that if he could talk, he would be real with me and he would tell me [in Richard Pryor voice], Look, little motherf***er, let me tell you something! Youve got to represent me right! I cant do an impression of him. Im just telling a story through me. Im telling a Richard Pryor story through me.
The Richard Pryor Project Script: The script is about some of the things that made Richard Pryor who Richard Pryor was. He did a movie, Jo Jo Dancer. He did this whole movie about his own life. But what he didnt cover, he didnt cover When you ask people about Richard Pryor, they say, Oh, he caught on fire! Or, Oh, he was on crack! All the bad s**t. This mans got some beautiful stories about himself. How he donated money to Martin Luther King,when nobody else donated him money for a project he was doing.
This dude was really, really down with the black community in Berkeley, in Oakland with the Panthers. He helped kids. All of this. I think the story needs to cover that, more so than anything because everybody knows [the bad stuff]. We want to show the beauty of him because its never been shown. Hollywood tends to pay for the negative s**t. They love the negative s**t. Thats what they want to see. The beauty only comes out when tragedy struck. Hes dealing with multiple sclerosis, you know? But Im honored to play him.