Ben Affleck’s Air movie premiere about how Michael Jordan and Nike created the Air Jordan brand, took place at the South By Southwest festival. There, Affleck said that Jordan set several conditions before giving Affleck his blessing for filming.
The first condition was that Howard White, the vice president of the Jordan brand, needed to be in the movie. Affleck used this as an opportunity to cast Chris Tucker in the role.
Jordan’s second condition, as Variety claims, was much more specific: he wanted his mother to have a prominent role in the film and to be played by Viola Davis.
Affleck joked that it would be like asking someone if they could use the basketball court and being told, “yes, if you take Michael Jordan.” Affleck added that Viola Davis is the best actress he has ever seen.
When Jordan talked about his mother, Affleck told the audience at the festival that he had a “look of reverence, of awe, of love, and gratitude, and innocence” that Affleck had never seen in him earlier.
“This is a hard business. It’s hard to know if you’re successful. It’s hard to know if you’ve accomplished something,” Affleck explained, “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.”
Air starts in Ukrainian cinemas on April 6.