Cuba Gooding Jr says making unfortunate career choices led to '10 years in the wilderness'
Cuba Gooding Jr is currently in a good place. After a spate of mediocre films and forgettable roles, the actor found success in his portrayal of OJ Simpson in The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story. Following his spectacular Oscar win in 1997 for Jerry Maguire, Gooding had it all — private jets, limousines and a bright future. However, in an interview with The Guardian, the performer opens up on a few decisions that completely changed the course of his life, bringing him what he calls "10 years in the wilderness".
Gooding admits to turning down roles in films like Amistad, Hotel Rwanda and Ray, many of which went on to win big at reputed award shows. "I had all these big directors offering me roles, and I read their scripts and said, ‘I don’t think this part is right for me.’ And what happens is, if you offend enough big directors, you get taken off their lists," Gooding tells the publication.
He says he didn't take up mainstream roles for the money. He wanted to show the audience that he was capable of doing way better and maintain the sanctity of the Oscar he had received but his logic was flawed.
With his long-awaited comeback, Gooding has also become cautious — he mentions he only wants to work with good directors which explains Selma, The Butler and The People v. OJ Simpson. As he begins to put himself back on the scene and make up for the lost years, Gooding says there is "no shortage of emotional content" in his life. His personal life has been as turbulent as his career.
Seeing his mother and father separate, ending his marriage with his wife of 22 years and dealing with the death of his father, Gooding says it feels he turned 50 years ago. But he also understands what his mother said to him: "Don’t ever lose your smile.’ She said, ‘You have a God-given joy. Don’t ever let people take that from you.’ I understand the power in that now."
Gooding also recently made his directorial debut with Louisiana Caviar and is currently part of Chicago, the longest-running American musical in Broadway history.
Updated Date: Apr 02, 2018 20:24:02 IST