As filmmakers were casting Air, the new biopic following Nike’s partnership with Michael Jordan, the NBA legend made one thing clear. He wanted actress Viola Davis to play his mother, Deloris Jordan.
The EGOT-winning actress recently discussed the shock she felt when she learned of Jordan’s request.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Davis said the pressure was on once she agreed to play the role of “the woman who basically is the orchestrator of this great athlete’s life.”
View this post on Instagram
“You know, you’re flattered at first and then the next second is pressure,” Davis said during the SXSW film festival over the weekend. “Obviously she was so influential and then I’m looking at videos of her and if you’ve ever seen videos of Deloris Jordan, she’s extraordinary, she really is,” Davis continued. “Because she’s one of those, you know, she’s one of those people where you’re like, ‘Where did this talent come from? Where did this vision come from?'”
Ben Affleck, who directed the film and produced it alongside Matt Damon, said they went to Jordan for his input when it came to the casting for his mother’s role.
“‘Viola Davis, that’s my mom.’ And that was it,” Affleck told The Hollywood Reporter. “Discussion was over. However it happened, it wasn’t his problem, but it was going to f**king happen. And I was like, ‘OK, Mike.'”
Affleck knew once Jordan requested someone, he would have to make it happen, and he did just that.
“I’m sure it was because I said, ‘Michael Jordan wants you to play his mom.’ It certainly wasn’t ‘Ben Affleck wants you to be in his movie,'” Affleck said about getting Davis to agree to the role.
Davis took great pride in the project, making sure she brought the right approach to the role. When asked about the project, she expressed her excitement for what viewers will experience.
“I want them to see it, I don’t think anyone really knows what they’re going to experience,” Davis told ET. “Because I’ve read comments… [and] when I’m reading the comments, people don’t even –, they can’t even anticipate what they’re about to see.”
Air premieres in theaters and on Prime Video on Apr. 5.