Most folks have that favorite uncle who keeps it real (crazy), right? No one embodies that character better than Mike Epps, and this year he’ll slip into the equal parts fun and reckless title role on ABC’s Uncle Buck.
“I like being the uncle because he’s not responsible for your ass,” he says with a laugh. “He gets to have fun with you, then take you back home!”
Along with his razor-sharp wit, Epps—whose recent credits include Bessie, Survivor’s Remorse and a Netflix comedy special, Mike Epps: Don’t Take It Personal—has proved that he can tug on heartstrings as hard as he can bring the laughs. “I’m a comedian, but I’m a really serious guy too,” he says. “There are a lot of different fabrics that make me who I am.”
He’ll surely have to dig deep as he prepares for the long-awaited biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? which begins filming next month. He auditioned four times to get the chance to portray Pryor on the big screen, and really, it’s Epps’s moment: “I’ve been in the business for almost 20 years and it’s been a slow grind. I earned this role—and I’m ready.”
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