Marlon Wayans was the first to shoot their scenes in Air: Courting A Legend, so he designed a YouTube intensive course on learning all he could to portray George Raveling.
The almost unbelievable journey of Nike going from a middling shoe company to making a historic deal that would revolutionize the sport, the business, and the culture is now on the big screens. Air: Courting a Legend has been dazzling critics since SXSW and will now marvel the world with its incredible performances and masterful filmmaking that made a week of a marketing team at work one of the most gripping stories of the year. It’s a film that truly shows the power of a good story, and that there really is no such thing as a small role in cinema. Especially when it comes to Marlon Wayans as George Raveling.
Marlon Wayans Pretty Much Had to Get Ready Over a Weekend For his Part in Air
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When even considering making the movie, Ben Affleck did not want to without his blessing or permission from Michael Jordan. It was important to get the story right. Luckily Jordan was very concise and had key figures that had to be included in the story. George Raveling was one of those figures. Raveling is featured for one scene in the film, but it is a powerful scene. While screen time may have been limited, impact and resonance was not thanks to the performance of Marlon Wayans. Wayans talks about preparing for the role at the press conference.
“I was the first one to shoot, so I got the call on like Friday, and we were filming on Monday, so YouTube was my friend. [laugh] A crash course on YouTube. And George Raveling, you know, I learned a lot about him. I learned he was a fantastic man. Like, he himself was the first, like, Black coach to win like a national championship. And he coached on the Olympic team. And, you know, he was from Jersey. And so there was a lot that I kind of picked up.
And when I read the monologue, and the fact that that was real and that he still has the “I Have a Dream” speech, like, in his possession, I just thought that it was an amazing character to play.”Marlon Wayans, Air: Courting a Legend Press Conference
How Wayans Knew The Movie Would be Magical
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After learning all he could and finding a way to connect and portray Raveling, Wayans goes on to share his experience on set and how he was able to represent Raveling and also bring his own reverence and emotion to his portrayal. Plus how he had a feeling the film would be magical from his experience on set.
“And, you know, the more you research, the better you can, you know, do in terms of your performance. But what I love was when we went on set, Matt and Ben was like, you know, ‘We’re not impersonating. You can bring you to it.’ And that’s always for an actor the best thing you can do is when I can mix that person with my emotions and what you bring. And then, you know, the script was already written so beautifully, but, you know, we got to play. And then, you know, I could get out of my head and really have fun.
And that’s what it was. When I left the set, I just felt like if every day on that set felt like the first day, that’s going to be a magical movie.”Marlon Wayans, Air: Courting a Legend Press Conference
From what everyone has been saying in interviews, it seems as if every day after the first was as fun and collaborative as Wayans’ experience. Having seen the movie, Wayans’ feeling of magic was right on the money, as the film is truly a work of art.
Air: Courting a Legend releases exclusively in theaters on April 5, 2023, from Amazon Studios before premieres globally in over 240 countries and territories worldwide on Prime Video.
ABOUT AIR: COURTING A LEGEND
Release Date: April 5, 2023, exclusively in theaters before premiering on Prime Video.
Directed By: Ben Affleck
Written By: Alex Convery
Produced By: David Ellison, Jesse Sisgold, Jon Weinbach, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Madison Ainley, Jeff Robinov, Peter Guber, and Jason Michael Berman
Production Companies: Skydance Sports; Mandalay Pictures; Artists Equity
Distributed By: Amazon Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures
Cast: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Matthew Maher, Marlon Wayans, Jay Mohr, Julius Tennon, with Chris Tucker and Viola Davis
From award-winning director Ben Affleck, AIR reveals the unbelievable game-changing partnership between a then-rookie Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball division which revolutionized the world of sports and contemporary culture with the Air Jordan brand. This moving story follows the career-defining gamble of an unconventional team with everything on the line, the uncompromising vision of a mother who knows the worth of her son’s immense talent, and the basketball phenom who would become the greatest of all time.
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KEEP READING: Air Review – Greatness Out of Thin Air