Matt Damon and Marlon Wayans explain the broad appeal of ‘Air’

Amazon Studios

The Ben Affleck-directed movie Air is now in theaters, and although it centers on the creation of the now-iconic sneaker that bears Michael Jordan‘s name, co-star and co-writer Matt Damon explains you needn’t be a sneakerhead or a basketball fan to get it.

“I really do think there’s something for everybody in this one,” explains the Oscar winner, who plays Sonny Vaccaro, the Nike exec who staked his career on signing then-rookie Jordan.

“It’s not a strictly sports movie,” Damon says. “You know, I think for the sports aficionados, they’ll love the kind of behind the scenes, behind the curtain type of stuff that’s in here. But…I think it surprised a lot of the people who weren’t expecting it…It sneaks up on you because…of the role that Viola [Davis] plays and how she kind of takes over the movie.” She portrays Jordan’s mother Deloris, who was integral to the Nike deal.

Marlon Wayans portrays George Raveling, a former basketball player and coach who was a key advisor to Vaccaro about approaching the Jordans.

Wayans says Air is a “feel-good” picture. “…[W]e all have dreams, we all have something that we want to do,” he says. “Everybody tells us we cannot do it. And just the fact that this man [Vaccaro] made that happen and look at the iconic thing that was spawned from that Michael Jordan signing with Nike to this shoe, to this brand, to this thing that changed pop culture. And, you know, in a huge way, I just think it’s a very powerful movie. And it started with something small, like a person with an idea and a gut feeling to make something happen.”

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