Ben Affleck, the director and one of the lead actors in the biographical film "Air," recently spoke to the media about the absence of Michael Jordan in the movie. Despite being a central figure in the story, Jordan's character is not depicted on screen.
In this article, we will dive into Affleck's reasoning behind this creative choice.
The Importance of Respectful Representation
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck shared why he chose not to recreate Jordan on screen.
He said, "He’s a hero to me. And I know how important and meaningful a figure he is, in particular in the African American community." Affleck went on to express the importance of portraying Jordan respectfully, saying, "If you’re going to f*** around with talking about Michael Jordan, do it respectfully.
Nobody’s asking you to do a hagiography, but get it f***ing right."
The Power of Jordan's Singular Presence
Affleck went on to describe the charisma and power that Jordan exudes, saying, "I’ve never known anybody with that kind of charisma and power who walks into a room and it just reverberates." However, despite the allure of Jordan's presence, Affleck ultimately chose not to show him on screen due to the challenge of accurately recreating such a singular figure.
Affleck explained, "Jordan is too big. He exists above and around the story, but if you ever concretize him, if you ever say, ‘Yes, that’s Michael Jordan,’ we know it’s not, really. It’s fake."
The Director's Vision
Affleck believed that it was better for the audience to bring their own memories and perceptions of Jordan to the movie, saying, "I thought if the audience brought everything they thought and remembered about him and what he meant to them to the movie and projected it onto the movie, it worked better." "Air" is based on the true story of marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro, played by Matt Damon, and his collaboration with Nike to launch a sneaker line with young Jordan.
The film had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March and is now available in theaters worldwide.
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