Shaquille O'Neal has been in various TV shows and movies over the years. However, the NBA legend recently revealed the time when he turned down a major movie role that could have changed his career forever. O'Neal recently appeared on the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast and was asked about the one role he turned down.
"That was my role in 'Green Mile,'" O'Neal said, per the New York Post. "I turned it down." He was then asked why he rejected the role. "I didn't want to play the down-South African American guy during slavery," he said. "I didn't want to play that role. But the guy who played it, Michael Clarke Duncan, did an excellent job. I think I made the right decision because he did way better than I could have done, but I got offered that role."
Clarke Duncan, starred alongside Tom Hanks in The Green Mile which was released in 1999. The movie was so successful that it was nominated for multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Clarke Duncan). The actor, who died in 2012, didn't win the award as that went to Michael Caine for The Cider House Rules.
When The Green Mile was released, O'Neal already starred in a few films including Kazamm, Blue Chips and the superhero film Steel. And once he retired from the NBA, O'Neal starred in films such as Uncle Drew, What Men Want and Hubie Halloween. He's also slated to make a cameo appearance in the film Jackass Forever, which will be released next year.
PopCulture.com recently caught up with O'Neal, who talked about rebooting Steel since it's part of the DC Universe. "Well, if you look at the Steel character, it's me," O'Neal told PopCulture. "It's all me, John Henry Irons is me. You know, when we did the movie, I would have liked to have those Iron Man effects, but nah, we did the movie in the early '90s, and technology wasn't as it is now, but I would love to be able to do a redo of that." O'Neal also has a long TV resume, appearing in shows such as The Bernie Mac Show, The Tracy Morgan Show, Fresh Off the Boat and Southland.