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Viola Davis Dishes On Being Handpicked By Michael Jordan To Play His Mom in 'Air'

Viola Davis Dishes On Being Handpicked By Michael Jordan To Play His Mom in 'Air'

Viola Davis is opening up about her role in Air, as Michael Jordan‘s mom.

The 57-year-old actress stepped into the role for Ben Affleck and Matt Damon‘s latest project together, which had its premiere over the weekend at SXSW.

According to Ben, who directs as well as stars in the movie, one of Michael‘s only requests was that Viola play his mother, Deloris.

Keep reading to find out more…

Speaking to THR about her part, Viola said that “Mothers are the most important figures in anybody’s life, so I was very flattered and deeply moved to be asked to play Michael’s mother.”

She went on, “I know Michael Jordan but didn’t know that Deloris brokered this deal to get him a huge stake in the shoe and in turn, protected her son’s legacy. I wanted to know more about this woman who had the strength and courage to fight for her son’s worth.”

“For Deloris to have this insight and progressive vision, to stand her ground in the negotiation room – which I know can be the hardest part of the job – makes her an incredible woman. That made me lean into this project.”

Michael, and Ben‘s wife, Jennifer Lopez, also encouraged a bigger presence of Deloris in the movie, after an early version of the script, it was minimal.

In one particular scene, which featured a phone call between Deloris and Matt’s character, Sonny Vaccaro, was only run two times.

“I want to play the scene so they can get up, they can do whatever they want, they can move around,” Ben recalled said. “We did two takes and I said, ‘That’s the best thing I’ve ever seen. I’m done. If you want to go again, I’ll shoot all day.’”

He adds, “[Viola] went, she watched the playback. When she came out, it was the first time I saw her smile and I just felt like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was the most lovely, rewarding moment.”

Air will be out in theaters on April 5.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Viola Davis

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