Pam Grier Biopic in the Works -- But Who Can Fill Her Foxy Shoes?

Now here's a biopic I can get excited about: Blaxploitation icon Pam Grier is set to see her 2010 autobiography Foxy, My Life in Three Acts, adapted for the screen with Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Living Single TV vet Eunetta Boone to script. Grier's story is full of sensational events -- just imagine that one Richard Pryor story, reenacted -- but also marks a turning point in the portrayal of strong, sexually-empowered women in Hollywood. That said, what young actresses out there can fill Grier's foxy shoes?

I'm curious to see which actresses can even resemble Grier's legendary physique and unusual features, let alone nail that combination of toughness and vulnerability that made her B-movie heroines so intriguing.

Last year Grier spoke with Movieline about her career, her formative pre-fame years, the childhood trauma that made her who she was, and the semi-accidental foray into Hollywood that launched her trailblazing career.

On the roots of the fearlessness that came to mark her onscreen persona:

"It comes from my personal life. It comes from me experiencing very tragic circumstances when I was six and again at 19, and again at 21, where I finally felt I had to survive, I had to live through these circumstances. That gave me confidence. I fight a little harder, I challenge people... there are things that happened to me personally that I bring to the screen. But also, I wanted to show other women that they, too, won't lose their femininity or castrate their men by being assertive. It's okay to be confident... if you're right.

On her first screen credit:

"It's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls! I went to the set to visit a friend; I was a starving student working six jobs, and I just kind of went with him and the next thing I know they say, 'Hey, we need more extras!' They said, 'We'll put you in a dress, and you'll say something.' That was my first credit. It was Russ Meyer and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and I wasn't even union. I was like, 'Well, okay.' I had no intention of being an actor."

On her initial Hollywood aspirations:

"I still haven't been convinced. [Pauses] Just kidding! At the time I wanted to be a camera person. I didn't feel like I was attractive enough, with the glamour you see on television and the images that were portrayed. And I was a revolutionary, I was into the Black Panthers, being independent, feeding your own, give them a pole they'll learn how to feed themselves, and all of that. The womanly stuff was foreign to me. I came to Hollywood in a flannel shirt, Timberland boots, and Levis, with a big 'fro in my family's hunting jeep with no roof, no doors, no windows. They'd see me hiking up Sunset Plaza Boulevard, it's a long winding road, because I was used to hiking in Colorado. They said, 'No one in Los Angeles hikes! What are you, nuts?' No, it's just what I do. So I brought all of those differences, a different type of woman. They could dress me up, I clean up well. But that was my first credit. And I didn't know what I was saying. I didn't know anything of what to do."

Read the full interview here.


  • Hiro says:

    I don't know if she'd do it... but Viola Davis.

    But, knowing Hollywood, they're going to cast the likes of Beyonce or Rihanna (or some other black pop star) for the role, regardless of whether they fit or not. Doing that also opens the corporate door for putting out a soundtrack of music "influenced by" Pam Grier.

  • anon says:

    As for who should play Pam Grier, how about Esperanza Spalding?

  • Pam Grier. I fell in love with this amazing woman all over
    again when I watched JACKIE BROWN--it's one of my
    favorite films...and not just for Jackie talking about her
    afro, her butt, and her LPs. Great dialog delivered by a
    great actress.
    Thanks, Jen!

  • metroville says:

    Eddie Murphy.

  • dukeroberts says:

    I don't know who should be cast, but I will gladly conduct the casting interviews.

  • edit1 says:

    The thing is, Pam Grier is warm and intelligent, inside the Amazonian, stone fox exterior. She appealed to people because she's sensible, down home, kind and righteous - inside that brick house body.
    Today's actresses - black, white, doesn't matter - are basically Project Monarch zombies, manufactured by pedophiles at Disney, Nickelodeon and elsewhere (ask Himmm?), so they are 'designed' not to possess the resourcefulness, spirit and sunny, natural appeal of the Mighty Ms. Grier.
    Try an unknown.

    • Mr McGee aka DJ LOVE@CHICAGO says:

      you said a Mouth full of Truth there
      regarding Doctor/Ms Pam Grier.

  • Kel says:

    will this be another "My Week in Marilyn"? Oscar-nominated portrayal of an Oscar-snubee?

  • Rakeem says:

    Pam Grier is mixed with indian she the woman in the 70's

  • BlackThoughts925 says:

    The young beautiftul actress that played in Mario Van Peeples', Badasssss has the physique and the acting skills to play this role. Her name is Karimah Westbrook!!!!

  • Donald says:

    I honestly cannot say that I believe the woman has been born yet who is of the same caliber as Pam Grier or who might adequately fill one of her former roles. She was and still is quite a woman!

  • Pam Grier has been my "all-time" heart throb. Couldin' get enuf of PAM GRIER

  • Mr McGee aka DJ LOVE@CHICAGO says:

    I think they are going to need to cast 2-3
    or more actresses just to fill Ms. Grier's phenominal
    shoes to get her life story and accomplishments right.
    Someone suggested Esperanza Spaulding
    Great casting choice perhaps for some or part
    of her younger years. How about Queen Latifah
    for part of her latter years??