Fitness personality Richard Simmons attends 2013 LA Gay Pride Festival on June 9, 2013, in West Hollywood, Calif.
Pauly Shore isn’t backing away from his decision to portray Richard Simmons in an upcoming biopic—in fact, the Encino Man actor thinks there’s a chance he could even win an Academy Award for the performance.
It’s still early days for the film, which The Los Angeles Times reported doesn’t yet have a writer. Wolper Organization is reportedly producing the film, with Shore in the starring role.
“I have never given my permission for this movie,” the fitness personality wrote. “So don’t believe everything you read.”
Decades after rising to fame through his exercise videos and gyms, Simmons sought a life away from the spotlight about 10 years ago. These days, he doesn’t have a manager or publicist, and tries “to live a quiet life and be peaceful,” according to his Facebook post.
Speaking with paparazzi after Simmons posted his reaction to the biopic plans, Shore said one could “never know” what Simmons is “going to say the next day.”
“I love Richard,” Shore said, according to a video of his interaction with paparazzi shared online by TMZ. “If you know anything about me, I don’t come from a vindictive place.”
Shore then mentioned a 10-minute short film he also stars in about Simmons’ time on Ellen DeGeneres’ show. He and filmmaker Jake Lewis launched the film while attending the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 19.
“I hope that, once he sees the short and he sees what we’re wanting to do with it, that he’ll change his tune,” Shore said ahead of the short’s launch. “I love him, and I love what he represents, which is why we want to do it.”
The short film is now available for public viewing on YouTube. While speaking with the crowd at its premiere, Shore said Simmons had texted him “good luck,” according to TMZ, suggesting the fitness guru may already be starting to change his mind about the project.
Shore added there is “no reason” he wouldn’t be able to snag an Academy Award in the eventual full-length biopic.
“Hopefully, Richard Simmons will see we did not make fun of him,” Shore told The Los Angeles Times. “We treated him with the utmost respect.”