Pauly Shore is best known for his comedic ‘90s roles in movies like Son-in-Law, Encino Man, Bio-Dome, In the Army Now, and more. He has toured doing stand-up comedy, but has laid fairly low over the past couple of decades, aside from bit roles and voice work. The actor has now signed on to play ‘80s fitness guru Richard Simmons in an upcoming biopic, or at least that’s the plan, now that Shore’s portrayal of Simmons has premiered at Sundance in the short film The Court Jester, which he hopes will lead to a feature.
After the news broke that Shore was taking this on, Simmons spoke out against the film on social media, writing on Facebook:
“Hi Everybody! You may have heard they may be doing a movie about me with Pauly Shore. I have never given my permission for this movie. So don’t believe everything you read. I no longer have a manager, and I no longer have a publicist. I just try to live a quiet life and be peaceful. Thank you for all your love and support.”
When asked about this reaction, Shore told Variety:
“It’s never been vindictive. I’m not Borat. I’m not ‘let’s make fun of someone.’ It’s the opposite. At this point, it’s an unauthorized biopic and they’re made every day. Yes, I want him to put his pixie dust on this and say, ‘Go for it, Pauly.’ It’s Richard being Richard. It’s sensitive. We don’t want to bug him. We want him to be left alone and we don’t want to bug him. We want to pay homage to him and kiss his feet and say he’s done beautiful stuff. Who’s going to play Richard Simmons? Leonardo DiCaprio is not going to play Richard Simmons. I look like him.”
He went on to say:
“I want it to be more dramatic than it is funny. A lot of the younger generation does not know who he is and his story needs to be told. I relate to him a lot. I saw an interview he did recently and him saying how he’s by himself. He’s secluded. He doesn’t have any friends or family. He’s just alone. That is similar to me right now. My parents passed away. My siblings, we don’t have a great relationship. I’m not married. When I am out touring, it’s very big and America.. and then I come home and I’m by myself. I definitely feel like I am him. I feel like there is a part of me that is very similar.”
The Simmons biopic is in development at Warner Bros. subsidiary The Wolper Organization, which said in a statement, “While we would love to have [Simmons] involved, we respect his desire to privacy and plan to produce a movie that honors him, celebrates him and tells a dramatic story.”
The production company added, “We know he is deeply private and we would never want to invade that, however he is an amazing person that changed millions of peoples’ lives, and the effect he has had on the world needs to be recognized.”
Shore said he’s hoping to get the movie off the ground right away.