Richard Simmons is distancing himself from a biopic that would star Pauly Shore as the fitness guru.
“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,” read a post on Simmons’ verified Facebook page. “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. Richard.”
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Shore announced the project Wednesday morning, though he did not claim that Simmons was involved. The Wolper Organization is backing the film. Shore has already shot the short film “Court Jester,” which will debut in Park City, Utah, during Sundance, though it is not a part of the fest.
The filmmakers responded to Simmons’ concerns in a statement of their own Wednesday.
“While we would love to have him involved, we respect his desire to privacy and plan to produce a movie that honors him, celebrates him and tells a dramatic story,” said The Wolper Organization in a statement. “We know he is deeply private and we would never want to invade that, how ever 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 of the Wolper Organization said in an earlier statement the goal of the biopic was something heartfelt, with the tone of Little Miss Sunshine.
The project came together after a viral meme noting the physical resemblance between Shore and Simmons.
“I’ve noticed all the reactions to me playing Richard Simmons in a new biopic,” Shore wrote on Facebook in September. “I heard he’s living deep in Big Bear. We’ve been playing phone tag (yes, he still has a phone). I’m trying to make it happen for you guys. Be optimistic.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Shore said in a statement announcing the project: “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.”
Simmons was one of the nation’s most well-known fitness motivators, rising to prominence in the 1970s with books and workout videos. He was once a fixture on talk shows and at his Beverly Hills workout studio Slimmons, but exited public life in 2014.
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