After an extended break from Hollywood, Chris Tucker returned to play legendary Nike exec Howard White in AIR which takes moviegoers into the game-changing partnership between a then-rookie Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball division in the ’80s.
Check out the trailer below:
We caught up with Chris Tucker who talked portraying a key member in Michael Jordan’s career in our interview you can enjoy below:
“I had a chance to sit down with Michael Jordan because I just wasn’t going to make this movie without asking him, ‘What matters to you?’ Interestingly, and tellingly, he had a few things that mattered,” said Affleck in an interview with Variety.
“One of them was that Howard White needed to be in the movie,” revealed Affleck revealed, referring to the Vice President of the Jordan brand.
“I got the script and then had the chance again to talk to Michael. Michael Jordan, for those of you who don’t know, is one of the most intimidating, impressive men you’ll ever see in your life,” he continued, adding, “he told me about his father. And then he talked about his mother. It was the first time I saw this look cross his face. It was a look of reverence, awe, love, gratitude, and innocence.”
Jordan also requested that Viola Davis play his mother in an audacious ask that works out beautifully in the film.
He said, ‘None of this would have ever happened without my mother.’ I said, ‘Who would you like to play your mom?’ He said, ‘Well, it has to be Viola Davis.”
“That’s like saying, ‘Can I play basketball on your court?’ ‘Yeah, if you get Michael Jordan.’ “Viola Davis is the best actor I’ve ever seen,” Affleck continued. “This is a hard business. It’s hard to know if you’re successful.
It’s hard to know if you’ve accomplished something. But honest to God, I always felt that if I was a director one day, and I had Viola Davis in a movie, that would really be something. That would mean the world to me. And it does.”
“This is the best night of my professional life, and I want to welcome the best actor in the world,” he ended, introducing Viola Davis before the audience previewed AIR.
It wasn’t until recently that Davis was made aware that Jordan specifically requested her for the film.
The Oscar-winner, 57, told PEOPLE that she was “flattered” after learning that Michael Jordan personally selected her to play his mother, Deloris Jordan, in the film.
“I’m just hearing about it now,” said Davis as she walked the red carpet at the premiere with husband and co-star Julius Tennon. “So yeah, so it blew my mind. I’m glad I didn’t know about it before.”
Tennon, 69, added, “It’s pretty awesome that he wanted her to play his mom.”
AIR is now playing in theaters everywhere.
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