Sources: Aljazeera America | Edited By – All Things Michael
In a recent interview, the comedian and actress describes growing up as the multiracial child of Hollywood icon Richard Pryor and defines what it means to be iconic.
It sounds to me that you are describing your father as well because there is nobody else like your father.
There isn’t, and there’s no one else like my mother. My mom is her own individual. I’ve never met a mother like my mom. I’ve never met another Richard Pryor. I think that’s what makes you iconic, when no one else can be you. We have a generation now that says — we’ll look at someone like Jay-Z and Beyoncé, and we’ll call them iconic. But there will be another Jay-Z and another Beyoncé that come after. There’s never going to be another Madonna, whether we like her or not. There’ll never be another Michael Jackson. It just is not possible. That’s an icon. There will never be another Tina Turner.
Or Richard Pryor. Ain’t gonna happen. To say to somebody, especially in the comedy world or in life, to try to sum up who my father is — I don’t know how, because he was so much bigger than life in his art, in his everything, his essence, in his person.
Did you feel that way growing up, or did it take you a while to really understand all that he was in his impact? When did it hit you?
I don’t think I knew his impact. I knew who he was. I always had a soul connection with Dad, so it was deep. I knew who he was. I knew who Richard Pryor — I knew when he was sad, I knew when he was happy, I knew when he was frustrated, I knew when he was angry, I knew what made him tick, I knew who his friends were and who weren’t his friends, the people he let close that maybe he shouldn’t have, I knew his quirks. Do you know what I mean? I knew the man.
His iconic value or his iconic persona I don’t think I really grasped until the day he died. Walking through the airport and people literally stopping me. The TSA agents are like, “Can I hug you? I’m so sorry.”
It’s overwhelming because, one, I didn’t know what to do with it. Two, it’s my dad, but you’re crying. Do you know what I mean? You find yourself too, in those moments, when you have a person that, that’s big, you’re crying, but they’re crying. So you’re taking care of them.
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