Ben Affleck has given an inside look into his meeting with Michael Jordan before the filming of ‘Air’, his new movie which chronicles Nike’s pursuit of a young MJ and the launch of the Air Jordan shoe line.
“I got the script and then had the chance again to talk to Michael,” Affleck said during the movie’s premiere on March 18 at South By Southwest. “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 told me about is 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, of awe, of love, and gratitude, and innocence. 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… 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.”
Affleck added that Jordan also insisted the film included Howard White, Jordan Brand’s Vice President, who was played by Chris Tucker in the film.
According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, White was “so integral to MJ’s Nike days that White is credited for being part of the team that helped to keep him with the brand through some uncertain times”.
‘Air’ is set for release on April 5.