Oprah Winfrey running a whorehouse certainly isn’t something that you’d associate the billionaire media mogul with, but it’s true. Oprah is running a whorehouse, according to Mtv.com.
No. It’s not a whorehouse in real life. Lee Daniels has cast Oprah in his biopic about the life and times of Richard Pryor. Pryor’s grandmother in real life, Marie, ran a whorehouse, and Oprah Winfrey, 60, has been cast in the role.
The relationship that Richard Pryor had with his grandmother was clearly complicated. Pryor grew up in the house of prostitution, and the effects on the young comic had to have been formative. His mother, Gertrude, walked out on the family when Richard was only ten-years-old, leaving his whorehouse running grandmother to raise him.
Oprah Winfrey confirmed on Sunday on Instagram that Michael Epps would be playing Richard Pryor in the film, writing “@theoriginalbigdaddy, @eppsie, and me just finished a great 1st read session. #RichardPryorMovie.”
Oprah Winfrey previously worked with Lee Daniels on The Butler last year and co-produced Precious along with Tyler Perry in 2009.
Richard Pryor’s real life widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, is producing the biopic of Pryor’s life, but there’s no word yet on who is playing her in the film, according to Entertainment Tonight, though rumor has it that Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson are best bets for the role.
Oprah Winfrey acted in many roles before and did a fantastic job. Her work in The Color Purple with Steven Spielberg garnered Oprah an Oscar nomination. She also turned out a critically acclaimed performance in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, in addition to her previous work with Lee Daniels.
Oprah has done plenty behind the scenes, as well. Her Harpo Productions released a made-for-television production of Their Eyes Were Watching God and also made a deal with HBO to release documentaries, movies and scripted series.
But Oprah has never played a whorehouse madame before.
Oprah’s real life character, Marie Pryor, ran a whorehouse in Peoria, Illinois, and reports say that Richard’s mother, Gertrude, was a prostitute in that whorehouse. As stated above, Gertrude ran out when Richard was only ten. The effect on Richard must have been profound when he eventually came to realize that his own grandmother probably not only tolerated, but encouraged, his mother having sex with strangers for money.
Mike Epps reportedly beat out such big names as Nick Cannon, Marlon Wayans and Michael B. Jordan for the coveted title role of Pryor.
Though a release date hasn’t been given for the Richard Pryor biopic, you can expect to see Oprah Winfrey on-screen running a whorehouse in the near future.
[Image Via YouTube]