Richard Simmons Isn’t Happy Pauly Shore Will Play Him in Biopic

By: Mark Smith | Published: Jan 20, 2024

Hollywood has been producing some seriously fantastic biopics over the past few years, and the newest addition to the list has the world very excited.

The film, which is already in the first phases of production, follows the interesting life of beloved personality Richard Simmons. And it was just announced that none other than Pauly Shore will play the fitness celebrity.

Who Is Richard Simmons?

Richard Simmons is now 75 years old and lives a quiet life out of the public eye in his beautiful mansion in California.

Richard Simmons leading an exercise class

Source: Evan Hurd/Corbis/Getty Images

But before he retired, Simmons was one of the most beloved and well-known fitness celebrities in the entire world.

Helping the World Get in Shape

Through in-person classes at his studio and, eventually, videos such as “Sweatin’ with the Oldies,” Simmons spent his life motivating people to get in shape through fun exercises and, even more importantly, feel great about themselves.

Screenshot of Richard Simmons’ most famous fitness video “Sweatin’ to the Oldies”

Source: IMDb

Due to his high-energy and engaging personality, Simmons became almost unbelievably popular and was frequently a guest on several talk shows, TV shows, and at A-list celebrity events.

Simmons Used His Fame for Political Activism

Simmons also became a spokesperson for several brand names, such as Sprint, Yoplait, and Herbal Essence. By the start of the new millennium, less than 30 years after he started his career as a fitness instructor, he was one of the most famous celebrities in America.

Famous American fitness coach Richard Simmons during his Cruise to Lose, which sails through the Caribbean

Source: Evan Hurd/Sygma/Getty Images

And later in life, Simmons began using his fame for good; in 2008, he supported a federal bill which ensured noncompetitive physical education in all schools called “No Child Left Behind.”

'I Am That Court Jester'

But more than a motivator and political activist, Simmons has always considered himself someone who can help those in need.

Richard Simmons attends the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013

Source: Scott Roth/FilmMagic/Getty Images

He once told Men’s Health magazine, “When the king gets depressed, he doesn’t call for his wife or the cook. He turns to the little man with the pointed hat and says to the court jester, ‘Make me laugh.’ And I am that court jester.”

The Biopic Will Depict Simmons’ Incredible Energy and Life

The Wolper Organization, an entertainment and production company, decided recently that Simmons’ life deserves to be immortalized through film.

Logo for the Wolper Organization production company


Malk Wolper said in a statement, “There is an amazing, dramatic, and uplifting story to tell about Richard Simmons. My company has been making historical dramas and biopics for over 50 years now … And we know what works” (via Variety).


Wolper Certainly Does Know What It's Doing

And Mark Wolper isn’t exaggerating. The Wolper Organization has produced more than 500 television shows and movies over the years. Their projects are beloved by critics and audiences alike.

Movie poster for Roots/Movie poster for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory/Movie poster for L.A. Confidential

Source: IMDb

Some of their most famous films include “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Roots,” and “L.A. Confidential.” And they are hoping that the new Simmons biopic will soon be added to this list.


The Decision to Make Simmons’ Biopic Was Made Once They Found the Perfect Actor

Mark Wolper explained, “We have been dancing around the idea [of the biopic] 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.”

Comedian Pauly Shore attends the 2017 MAXIM Hot 100 Party at The Hollywood Palladium

Source: Paul Archuleta/WireImage/Getty Images

As well as the fact that Shore and Simmons look extremely similar, Wolper also said that “they both lived or died by how the world perceived them, they both fought to give their fans what they wanted, and they both deserve an amazing comeback story!”


Who Is Pauly Shore?

In order to understand why Pauly Shore is such the perfect choice to play Richard Simmons, one needs to know a little more about Shore’s personal life.

Pauly Shore at a red carpet even in the 2000s

Source: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Shore is a comedian and actor, who became well-known throughout the 1990s due to his films such as “Encino Man,” “Bio-Dome,” and “Class Act.” Although the movies didn’t bring in impressive box office sales, Shore’s unique comedy made him quite popular.


Pauly Shore Learned to Laugh at Himself

Over the years, Shore learned to laugh at himself and even made a mockumentary in 2003 entitled “Pauly Shore Is Dead” about his lackluster career.

Pauly Shore performs at Magic City Casino on October 10, 2015

Source: Aaron Davidson/WireImage/Getty Images

He continued to perform live comedy with outrageous moves and self-deprecating jokes that his audiences absolutely loved. Similarly to Simmons, he acted as the “court jester” to bring smiles to as many faces as possible.


Shore Says He’s 'Excited About Sharing Richard Simmons’ Story'

In a recent statement to Variety, Shore reported, “I’m really excited about sharing Richard Simmons’ life with the world.”

Pauly Shore performing at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco on April 21, 1992

Source: Clayton Call/RedFerns/Getty Images

He continued, “We all need this biopic now more than ever. Simmons represented mental health, getting people in shape, and being his authentic silly self!”


Simmons Apparent;y Has Not Approved the Film

While Wolper and Shore are clearly very excited about the film, it seems that Richard Simmons isn’t quite as thrilled about the idea.

Screenshot of a post by Richard Simmons on Facebook

Source: @RichardSimmons/Facebook

Richard Simmons hasn’t been seen by the public since 2014, but he did write on Facebook in response to the announcement of the biopic, “I have never given my permission for this movie.  So don’t believe everything you read.”