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Richard Simmons Speaks Out Against Upcoming Biopic About His Life

Photo Credit: Harry Langdon / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Harry Langdon / Getty Images

The 75-year-old Richard Simmons has spoken out against the news of an upcoming biopic based on his life and career. Little is known about the film outside of the fact that it has been announced that Simmons will be played by 55-year-old comedian Pauly Shore. Despite Simmons’ statement, the film is still set to be produced.

Simmons spoke out against the news

Richard Simmons sitting for a picture.
Richard Simmons poses for a portrait in 1992 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Harry Langdon / Getty Images)

Mere hours after it was announced that Pauly Shore would be playing him in an upcoming biopic, Richard Simmons made a statement speaking out against the film. Taking to Facebook, Simmons wrote, “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.”

Simmons quickly became a household name during the 1980s thanks to his eccentric and energetic personality, promoting physical activity through his “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” aerobics video series. He became so famous that he appeared as a featured guest on several talk shows, earning a large fan base. In 2014, Simmons pulled away from public life, worrying fans about his health and safety, but in 2016, he said in a phone interview that “no one is holding me in my house as a hostage,” he just prefers his privacy.

Shore is excited for the role

Headshot of Pauly Shore.
Pauly Shore, who is slotted to play Richard Simmons in the upcoming biopic, on May 25, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Despite the fitness guru speaking out against the film, lead actor Shore said he is thrilled to portray Simmons. “I’m really excited about sharing Richard Simmons’s life with the world,” he said. “We all need this biopic now more than ever. Simmons represented mental health, getting people in shape and being his authentic silly self! Whenever he was on TV you could never take your eyes off of him and he brought such a joy to his appearances that represented nothing but a good time.”

This still-unnamed biopic is not the first time Shore will play the role of Simmons. He also starred as the fitness guru in another film unrelated to the biopic titled “The Court Jester.”

The production company plans to honor Simmons

Headshot of Richard Simmons.
Richard Simmons promotional photo. (Photo Credit: American Broadcasting Companies / Getty Images)

The Wolper Organization, the company producing the biopic, made a statement saying, “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 statement continued saying, “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.”

Mark Wolper said that the studio is in “serious discussions with a major writer” to develop the film, and they intend for it to take the tone of a “dramatic and heartfelt feature in the tone of ‘Little Miss Sunshine.'” He explained how “We have been dancing around the idea for years, but it never coalesced until several months ago when I saw the press about Pauly Shore being touted by social media as the ONLY person that could play Richard.”

Shore cried because Simmons doesn’t approve of the biopic

Pauly Shore.
Pauly Shore on February 11, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace)

Shore revealed on Instagram that he was “up all night crying” after Simmons continued to distance himself from the biopic. Instead, Simmons is now looking into making his own biopic. “I just read that a man that I don’t know is writing my bio pic starring Pauly Shore,” Simmons wrote on his social media platforms. “I do not approve this movie. I am in talks with major studios to create my own biopic with some help. Wait for this movie.”

Shore saw the statement and had some deep feelings about them. “I was up all night crying regarding Richard Simmons’ tweet,” Shore responded. “Richard, how do you not approve of this movie? I mean, really, who’s better to play you in a movie than ME? Leonardo DiCaprio’s not gonna play you. Brad Pitt’s not gonna play you. I’m perfect. Everyone already thinks I’m you. We’re the same.” Shore explained that Simmons hasn’t “even heard the pitch,” and offered to meet with him to fill him in on some details about the film.

Read more: Rare Behind-the-Scenes Photos From Our Favorite Classic Movies

When it comes to Simmons creating his own biopic, Shore is onboard with that too. “I also heard the good news that you’re in talks with studios to do a biopic about yourself,” Shore added. “That’s amazing! The more movies about you, the better! You deserve it. There should be hundreds made. But as you know, many biopics are made without the subject agreeing to be part of it: Elvis, Stephen Hawking, Marilyn Monroe, Steve Jobs and many, many more. Some of them turned out good, some of them turned out bad. Mine is going to turn out amaze-balls.”

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!