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Pauly Shore is responding to Richard Simmons after the fitness icon disavowed the upcoming biopic in which Shore is set to play him. Shore stopped by the Variety Studio presented by Audible while at the Sundance Film Festival and said his Simmons movie is “all about love,” with or without the real Simmons’ blessing.
“My come from has always been love,” Shore said. “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.”
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Shore is at Sundance for the premiere of “The Court Jester,” in which he also plays Simmons. The short film, now streaming on YouTube, is directed by Jake Lewis. Shore is hoping the short leads into the movie and is currently courting writers to pen the feature.
“I want it to be more dramatic than it is funny,” Shore said of the Simmons biopic, later adding: “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,” Shore said. “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. Just hours after it was announced, the fitness guru spoke out against the film on social media.
“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,” Simmons wrote on Facebook. “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.”
In a statement to Variety, The Wolper Organization said, “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.
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