One of the most common and emotional thanks when someone takes the stage to collect an Oscar is to the mothers of the winners for supporting them in achieving their dreams. Just as Oscar winners such as Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, Javier Bardem, Gustavo Santaolalla, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck himself have done at the time; the legend Michael Jordan did the same with his mother, Deloris Jordan, when he was selected to enter the Hall of Fame in September 2009. Just that gratitude and love that he feels for his mother, who guided him and supported him in important decisions of his career, is what Jordan wanted to be shown in Air: The story behind the logo, a film directed by Ben Affleck that tells how a group of misfits who worked at the Nike company insisted on signing him, revolutionizing the footwear industry and incidentally become millionaires.
I must confess that at first I thought that this was going to be the story of Michael Jordan telling the reasons why he was worth as a player, why he deserved the best and why he asked for what he asked for. His parents were not so much in the story we wanted to tell and for me he was going to try to tell all of that. However, he began to tell me about his father, who for him had the best personality in the world and suddenly told me that he did not want to go to Portland (where Nike’s headquarters are), that he was willing to give up the rights of his sneakers for life as long as they gave him a red Mercedes. He told me that it was his mother who told him to meet them. When I saw how Michael spoke of her mother, with that gratitude with which he spoke of her, the respect and reverence and adoration with which that intimidating man spoke of her.
At that moment I realized that there was really the story of our film. It is a very beautiful story, it is the story of Deloris Jordan, what it means to Michael and how emblematic moms are for athletes, business people or entertainment people, “said Ben Affleck in a virtual chat.
Affleck, also an actor and winner of two Oscars, met Jordan in Florida a few years ago to tell him about the idea he wanted to bring to the big screen with his colleague and friend Matt Damon, who in the story brings Sonny to life. Vaccaro, a talent scout who was the one who insisted and convinced Nike executives to sign the then rookie Michael Jordan.
Once Affleck, who presents this project shortly after his wedding to Jennifer Lopez, realized that the script had to address the figure of Jordan’s mother, he asked the best basketball player in the world who he wanted to play his mother. on the big screen. Her response from him? Viola Davis, the Oscar winner,
My daughters had something in New York and I couldn’t accompany Ben to Florida. Michael told him that he was okay with the movie being made. Ben called me after his meeting with Michael Jordan and told me that he wanted George Raveling (Michael Jordan’s coach) Howard White (President of Marketing for Nike) to appear in the story and that’s when Ben started talking to me about how the eyes Jordan, that intimidating man, changed when he started talking about his mom. Ben kept talking and he said to me, “The bad news is we have to get Viola Davis, if we don’t get her, there’s not going to be a movie,” shared Matt Damon, who won an Oscar with Ben Affleck in 1998 for the screenplay for indomitable mind.
Viola Davis, a 57-year-old actress and producer, was in charge of giving life to Deloris Jordan, a woman of character and very loving who is approached by the talent scout Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) to ask her to manage a meeting with his son and the Nike brand. The tape, whose script is by Alex Convery, shows how the young athlete was interested in signing a contract with Adidas, his first choice, or with Converse, his second, while Nike was not on his radar. Given this scenario, Sonny Vaccaro travels to North Carolina to talk to Deloris Jordan and persuade her about her decision. What is interesting about the story, and that very few know, is that she, by defending her son and knowing the value of what he would represent in the future, changed the rules of the game in terms of negotiations with Nike .
I was flattered to find out that Jordan wanted me for the role of his mom, however my next thought was to know that I had to get into the role and when you watch videos of Deloris Jordan you realize that she has Zen studies. She is down-to-earth and low-key And I figured when she’s angry she’s really down to earth. For me, wrapping that spirit was quite a challenge, because I am the one with a chip on top of her and I become bombastic. I define this experience as flattering, challenging and pleasant having worked with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, two wonderful actors”, shared Viola Davis.
I still think that Viola Davis saying yes to me means a great career ambition for life. I felt that if I had her in the film I would have succeeded as a director, I wanted to think that she said yes for me and not because Michael Jordan wanted her, “said Ben Affleck with a laugh, who with this tape scores five films as a director.
In order to tell this story based on real events, Ben Affleck, who also acts in the film, summoned Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, Matthew Maher, Julius Tennon (husband of Viola Davis and who plays the father of Jordan in the tape), Marlon Wayans and Damian Delano Young, who plays Michael Jordan.
This story is a very important issue for people my age, because when we were young we witnessed Jordan’s story about the staves and everything about the departure of his shoes. Also the value of all this is in the people you work with, like Matt and Ben, because you spend twelve hours a day with them and that was also an encouragement for me”, exclaimed Jason Bateman, who brings Ron Strasser to life. a Nike executive who told Phil Knight, founder of the sports shoe brand, that they should invest all the money in signing Jordan.
Air: The story behind the logo was filmed in Los Angeles, California and also shows how the sports company positioned itself as one of the most important after manufacturing Air Jordan shoes.
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