Pauly Shore is “slowly moving forward” with his Richard Simmons biopic

Shore's interest in the fitness guru began with a meme pointing out how similar the two men look

Pauly Shore is “slowly moving forward” with his Richard Simmons biopic
Pauly Shore and Richard Simmons Photo: Kevin Winter; Larry Busacca

Whoever it was that looked at a picture of Encino Man star Pauly Shore and ‘70s and ‘80s aerobics guru Richard Simmons and thought, “Huh, they look pretty similar. I should make a meme out of that,” may have unintentionally willed a whole movie into the world. Or, at least, they manifested a couple Instagram posts and a proof-of-concept tape that probably wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

For the past few weeks, Shore has been very vocal on social media about his desire to portray the iconic fitness instructor in a film about his life. “Since many people always told me I look like Richard Simmons, I started this series on all my social media platforms called Sweatin with the Wiez honoring Richard,” Shore wrote in a post featuring pictures of the two side by side with the caption, “Someone is going to write a Richard Simmons biopic and Pauly Shore is going to win an Oscar.” In the same caption, Shore said he had reached out to Simmons—who has lived almost completely out of the public eye since 2014—and the instructor had “politely pass[ed]” because he, “at this time, wants to remain private, which we all need to respect.”

This directive doesn’t seem to be stopping Shore, though. In a recent interview with The A.V. Club, Shore said the biopic isn’t “something I would say we’re moving forward with, but we’re slowly moving forward with.” He went on to explain that he was working with the same director and writer who had produced a viral proof of concept for a Robin Williams biopic back in 2021 to create his own tape embodying Simmons. “We’re going to put it out there on the internet, and we’re going to see how people respond,” Shore elaborated.

The actor also said his connection to Simmons feels far deeper than just the physical resemblance. “I think my whole kind of… the way I roll, the way I act, and my physicality and flamboyancy and authenticity is kind of what Richard Simmons is about. I have that inherent in me,” he said. “I think that’s why they think I would be a good fit.” We’ll see if the real Simmons agrees after watching Shore squeeze his buns in character.

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