Shaq says he turned down the acting role of a lifetime. The NBA legend says he was offered the role of John Coffey in the acclaimed Tom Hanks movie “The Green Mile.” He was still playing for the Los Angeles Lakers at the time the movie was made.
Shaquille told The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast he’d received the offer, but didn’t take it. He passed because he didn’t like the way the role portrayed Africans during the slavery period. He thought Michael Clarke Duncan did just fine in his performance.
“I didn’t want to play the down-South African American guy during slavery. I didn’t want to play that role… The guy who played it did a wonderful job. He’s no longer with us, he passed away. Michael Clarke Duncan did an excellent job…
I think I made the right decision because he did way better than I could have done,” Shaq said. “But, I got offered that role.”
Michael Clarke Duncan won three best supporting actor awards for his role and was lauded by critics and moviegoers alike. Shaq had a dominating career and is now a titan of industry. Sometimes things just work out perfectly.
As for the roles Shaq did take, it’s a mixed bag. His performance in 1994’s basketball drama Blue Chips was excellent. His consecutive performances in Kazaam and Good Burger were more questionable. Either way, Big Shaq Diesel doesn’t regret missing what many would consider the opportunity of a lifetime.
How do you think Shaq would’ve done in The Green Mile? Let us know in the comments!