One of America's most legendary entertainers gets the documentary treatment in the upcoming film "I Am Richard Pryor," arriving in March.
The film’s new trailer (above) begins with some of the late comedian and actor’s own words. “Sometimes I feel like there’s a person, Richard Pryor, and he does all this comedy. And then there’s me and I wonder what I have to do with Richard,” he says over old footage of his films and stand-up specials.
Documentarian Jesse James Miller also sat down with Pryor's friends, family, and colleagues as well as many whose careers were shaped by his work. “It so moves an audience to find a performer who shares their vulnerability with you,” recent Stern Show guest Lily Tomlin says at one point in the clip.
“You’re laughing but also suddenly you’re a raw nerve,” comedian and fellow Stern Show guest Sandra Bernhard adds.
Other big names featured in the film include Mike Epps, Tiffany Haddish, Howie Mandel, writer-director Rocco Urbisci, Jimmie Walker, and Richard’s wife Jennifer Lee Pryor. The doc explores not only Richard's material and legacy in the comedy landscape, but also his childhood, his personal struggles, and his outlook on life. “Pimps, poverty, racism—he took all that dark shit and made it life," writer and historian Dr. Todd Boyd explains.
Produced by Paramount Network, the Richard Pryor doc is reportedly the first of three new "I Am" films on the way with profiles on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Patrick Swayze arriving at a later date.
“I Am Richard Pryor” premieres March 12 at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin before debuting March 15 on the Paramount Network. Watch the official trailer (above).