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Mike Epps Talks 'Soaking' Up Richard Pryor Role, Hints At Timeline

Lee Daniels' Richard Pryor biopic is set to begin filming in March 2016, according to Epps.

After a long casting process, it appears Lee Daniels’ Richard Pryor biopic is set to begin production soon.   

The late comedian will be played by Mike Epps. According to Epps, the all-star cast -- which includes Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, and Kate Hudson -- is scheduled to begin filming in March 2016. 

“We start prepping in January, and start shooting in March," he said during an interview with The Huffington Post. "Eddie Murphy’s playing my father, Oprah Winfrey’s playing my grandmother, Kate Hudson’s playing my girl, and I’m playing Richard Pryor.”

Epps went on to share how preparing for the role of Pryor, who died in 2005, has required him to delve into the many layers of the late comedy legend.

“Right now, I’m just really soaking it up. I’m just a sponge right now,” he said. “Just doing a lot research on the history of Richard Pryor. Trying to figure out the things that I need to figure out to play certain scenes. How I need to feel. What state of mind I need to be in, because this guy was a roller coaster, man. It wasn’t easy. [He was] close to something that’s scientific -- broken down into a whole lot of different ways.”

As the 44-year-old actor gears up for the iconic role, he is also busy promoting season 2 of Starz’s original series, “Survivor's Remorse.” The comedy series, which is produced by NBA superstar LeBron James and follows the life of a young professional basketball star, Cam Calloway (played by Jessie T. Usher), as he navigates his newfound fame, wealth, and personal relationships.

While the show addresses relevant topics surrounding the lives of professional athletes, Epps -- who plays Calloway’s uncle, Julius -- says the show isn’t just relatable to people in the world of sports.  

“The whole show itself is relatable to anybody that’s in show business because it’s ‘survivor’s remorse,’” he said. “So the whole thing about money, family, and friends, and love and all that -- it all ties in together.”

“Survivor’s Remorse” premieres Saturday August 22 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT

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