Fitness personality Richard Simmons, who has been notoriously reclusive in recent years, released a rare public statement this week to voice his disapproval over an upcoming biopic film starring Pauly Shore as Simmons. The film does not have Simmons’ endorsement or involvement.
Simmons Breaks Silence to Denounce Biopic
For the first time in nearly a decade, Richard Simmons has spoken out publicly to address the forthcoming biopic from Pauly Shore and production company The Wolper Organization.
In a statement issued through his representative, Simmons said: “We have nothing to do with this project, I have not authorized or endorsed this, and we are not involved in any capacity.” He reiterated that he has “given no rights for anyone to do a biopic” and has not given permission for anyone to portray him.
Simmons, now 75, has made very few public statements or appearances since abruptly retreating from the spotlight in 2014. His fitness studios closed in 2016 after over 40 years in business.
Shore Shares First Look as Simmons in Short Film
As Simmons denounced the biographical film, Pauly Shore shared first-look images of himself fully transformed into character as the iconic 80s fitness personality. The photos are part of Shore’s forthcoming short film The Court Jester, which he co-wrote and plans to showcase at the Sundance Film Festival.
The images show Shore wearing Simmons’ signature cropped black hair, tiny shorts, striped tank top and knee socks. Sources say he capturing Simmons’ effusive personality and speaking style.
The Court Jester acts as a teaser of sorts for the upcoming feature biopic Shore plans to make on Simmons’ life. Shore expressed excitement over the passion project, saying: “To me, Richard Simmons represents peace and love, everything in the world I think we need more of these days.”
Biopic Plans Spark Backlash from Fans, Friends
The announcement of Shore’s Simmons biopic, tentatively titled King Richard, has stirred controversy online this week. Supporters of the reclusive icon argue making a film about his life requires his consent and involvement.
Additionally, some of Simmons’ close friends have come forward questioning Shore’s qualification for the role. Simmons’ longtime assistant Teresa Reveles said: “I don’t think Pauly Shore has any idea who the real Richard Simmons is. Richard is an American icon and genuine person who has helped millions — he doesn’t deserve this disrespect.”
Comedian Rosie O’Donnell, a friend of Simmons, tweeted: “Interesting he would choose someone like Pauly Shore to play someone he truly knows nothing about in Richard Simmons.”
Simmons Supported Others Portraying Him in Past
While Simmons opposes Shore’s biopic plans now, the fitness guru hasn’t always been against having others portray him on screen.
In the 1997 comedy The Wedding Singer, Simmons made a cameo playing himself opposite star Adam Sandler. He also enthusiastic supported actor Bill Hader’s recurring parody portrayal of him on IFC’s Documentary Now! in 2016, which Hader has called a “love letter” to Simmons.
However, Shore’s plans to chronicle his life from childhood into his fitness fame days appear to have touched a nerve with the extremely private star. Simmons said this week: “While I’m flattered by sheer interest, I cannot endorse this movie or anything related to it.”
His long absence from the public eye means many details about his current personal life remain closely guarded secrets. Shore has not revealed how much access or insight into Simmons’ world he has actually gained.
What Comes Next for Simmons Biopic?
It remains unclear whether Pauly Shore and The Wolper Organization will move forward with the Richard Simmons biopic film despite his very vocal objections.
If the project continues over Simmons’ wishes, he could potentially take legal action to halt production. However, his publicity statement stops short of directly threatening any lawsuits at this time.
Meanwhile, Shore continues generating buzz for his starring role as Simmons. He is expected to attend Sundance next week along with his completed 17-minute short film giving a sneak peek of his portrayal.
While Simmons himself wants no part of it, many fans remain curious to see how Shore encapsulates the larger-than-life 80s fitness personality in any on-screen adaptation, whether a short film or full biopic.
Table summarizing key details:
|The Court Jester (short)
|King Richard (biopic)
|The Wolper Organization
|January 2024 (Sundance)
The story pulls key details from the following “Top News” URLs provided:
It also incorporates details from several other linked articles in constructing a full narrative around both Pauly Shore’s short film as well as the planned biopic feature.
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