Ben Affleck Calls Jennifer Lopez ‘Nice, Awesome’ at ‘Air’ Premiere – The Hollywood Reporter

When Ben Affleck Introduces His New Movie To The World Air at the South by Southwest Film & FTV Festival in Austin earlier this month, the director, producer and star of the Amazon Studios film called it “the most important night of my professional life.”

Monday night in Westwood must have been a second to come.

Affleck went to the Regency Village Theater for the premiere of his new film in LA, which stems from a game-changing partnership between then rookie Michael Jordan and the fledgling basketball division. of Nike has revolutionized the worlds of sport and culture with the Jordan brand Air.

It stars Matt Damon as Nike’s resident basketball expert, Sonny Vaccaro, Affleck as Nike founder and CEO, Phil Knight, Jason Bateman as Nike chief marketing officer Rob Strasser, Chris Tucker as Howard White, Sonny’s colleague and mentor, Chris Messina as Jordan’s agent, David Falk, Marlon Wayans as legendary coach George Raveling, Viola Davis as Michael’s mother, Deloris Jordan, her husband, Julius Tennon, who plays Michael’s father, James Jordan, and Matthew Maher as Air Jordan designer Peter Moore.


Marlon Wayans, Ben Affleck, Viola Davis, Matt Damon, Julius Tennon, Jason Bateman and Chris Tucker.

JC Olivera/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

All were present at the star-studded premiere, a well-produced scene hosting a red carpet covered by a beautiful basketball court, complete with a hoop (Wayans scored a basket on arrival), a stand with fans in Nike gear and pairs of Mercedes-Benz cars. The launch also featured a range of Nike shoes worn by guests, journalists and working press, so many pairs that they could easily be compared to a basketball game or athletic shoe convention.

After Affleck and their company went down the press line — the Oscar winner generously stopped at each store to chat about his film, an Amazon Studios and Skydance Sports collaboration showcased product of Artists Equity and Mandalay Pictures — he spent his time under the cinema. light the lights to introduce the film and show gratitude to all participants.

While he doesn’t say it’s the second most important night of his professional life, it seems so as he sometimes becomes emotional when delivering his remarks. “I know it sounds a bit like a Saturday Night Live sketch,” Affleck said before shouting out at the main cast and praising each one of them. “You know, dream cast, this ridiculous amount of bonuses for this cast is just too big but they’re all brilliant and phenomenal.”

He gave a special nod to his longtime best friend, Matt Damon. The couple not only reunited on the screen in Air but the film marks the first production effort by their new company, Artists Equity, which aims to revolutionize the way their work is paid. (Affleck spoke extensively about the company’s mission in a CHEAP cover.) “If you’re really lucky in life, you’ll have a friend like Matt Damon. I love him and it has been the greatest joy of my professional life to work with him,” Affleck said.

The night was filled with such celebration and friendly praise, but not without its heavier moments, especially when Amazon Studios director Jennifer Salke acknowledged the death of the beloved distribution executive. Dear Erik Lomis, who died suddenly last week at the age of 64.

“This is a huge loss, not only for our company but for the industry as a whole,” Salke said in his opening remarks. “Erik runs theatrical distribution for MGM and Amazon and is a true champion in the movie business. I know those of us lucky enough to know him who will cherish our memories of him and keep his passion for theatrical distribution alive. Air is a movie about taking a chance, about believing in something greater than all of us and putting it in a position to pursue greatness. This is what this creative team did to bring this film to the screen, and it best fits Erik’s continuing legacy.”

Speaking of legacy, Affleck made it clear that Air It’s not the definitive Michael Jordan story but “he’s in every cell of the movie and above it and lives in it.” Affleck has said that Jordan didn’t have many requests for the film but insisted on Davis being the woman to play his mother. “I think she is the epitome of mothers guiding their children in situations where they find themselves accelerated as children in difficult worlds to navigate. I don’t think you’d succeed or survive without a powerful mother,” he explains. For that, he thanked his mother “who loves all my movies even the really bad ones”.

Then, Affleck was about to wrap up her introductory remarks but before pausing for a moment to enjoy the moment and shout out another special VIP in the theater — superstar wife Jennifer Lopez.

He said: “This is a joy and I just want to enjoy this moment for a second. “And I want to say that nothing would have happened – this company, this movie, this fun tonight – without the love and support of my wife, who means more to me than anything. anything in life. I want to say thank you. I love you. You mean the world to me. You are wonderful, you are wonderful, you are wonderful, kind, kind, wonderful and I love you.

See below to find out CHEAP interviews with Air family from tonight’s premiere including conversations with Affleck, Damon, Bateman, Tucker and Messina. Air will mark Amazon’s first global theatrical release and hits theaters on April 5.


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