I’m really bummed at losing such a great guy in my life today, Michael Clarke Duncan.
I gave him his first big movie role in Armageddon as Bear. We found him in a gym. He cried at the first audition because he was so proud to audition for a “Michael and Jerry movie”, he just wanted to make his mom proud. We gave him the role in the room.
His first day on Armageddon he sucked. I remember looking to Ben Affleck and thinking we might need to fire him. But I told him “Mike, I hired you for you, I want the sweet, Mr Clarke Duncan I met in that room”. I said, “the audience is going to fall in love with you”.
He looked and smiled with deep voice and said “Ok”.
From then on out he became the most improved actor on the set. That was the award he got at the end of the film. Everyone loved him, his infectious spirit and great belly laugh.
It was a great time I will always remember, how proud I was to watch him grow into an actor. Watching him study all the guys from Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck to Steve Buscemi, and Owen Wilson. When he said in the movie he ” wanted to stay in the White House for the summer” he killed it. In his N.A.S.A. evaluation I told him to cry like a baby. He looked at me with his macho Duncan eye’s and said “Mike I can’t do that” I said “yes you can” and it became the biggest laugh in the movie.
I’m really sad to lose him. Rest in peace buddy.
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