Paul Walter Hauser Says New Chris Farley Biopic Will Honor Late SNL Star

When the news first broke that Chris Farley would be the subject of an upcoming biopic, some of those closest to the late SNL star expressed concern, but the film’s lead says he’s determined to do right by them. 

Paul Walter Hauser, who had previously tried to get his own Farley biopic made, spoke with The Wrap about what compelled him to take the role, and why he feels Farley’s legacy is in good hands.

“I just thought that if they were to make a movie about him, I would want to be the one to do it, because I love him so much,” Hauser said, “and I know that I would honor him rather than tell some sort of dark sob story. And that’s really what we intend to do.” 

Hauser went on to draw a comparison to his breakout role as the title character in Richard Jewell. “This is the same way ‘Richard Jewell’ was a bit of an exoneration victory lap for the man who’s no longer with us,” he explained.

“We’re hoping to show the real side of Chris too—not just him trying to be funny,” Hauser added, “but what were his hopes and dreams, and what were his relationships like with these newfound comrades jumping into SNL…”

Hauser also told The Wrap that he used to dream of being cast on Saturday Night Live himself, going as far as submitting audition tapes and writers’ packets. While he didn’t wind up at the show, he has always remained a fan. “A lot of my favorite comedy in general emanates from Saturday Night Live alumni,” he said in the interview

It sounds like that SNL fandom will help Hauser prepare for the role, as the actor cited the benefit of having so much footage of Chris Farley available in helping him develop his performance.

“I’m hoping that I can give Chris Farley the real last word that he deserves and make it something celebratory and fun,” Hauser added. 

Those words will likely be of some comfort to Farley’s fellow SNL cast members David Spade and Dana Carvey, who previously offered their take on the biopic news on their Fly on the Wall podcast. “I would hope it doesn’t just turn into [being] about drugs,” Spade said. “With how much [great work] he did, I would want it to be more upbeat, hopefully.”

News of a Farley biopic being in the works was first reported last month, with Hauser attached to star, SNL creator Lorne Michaels producing, and actor Josh Gad making his directorial debut. The film was said to be moving forward with the blessing of Farley’s family, as the script was based on The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts — a biography co-authored by Chris’s brother, Tom Farley Jr., and Tanner Colby.

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