Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Gooding Jr glad to stay grounded

Cuba Gooding Jnr gave the cockpit a miss on his latest movie

Cuba Gooding Jr has revealed that he was more than happy to stay on the ground for his new film, Red Tails.

Having portrayed a Tuskegee airman before, the US actor has learnt to stay clear of the cockpit this time around, letting his younger co-stars like David Oyelowo, Ne-Yo and Nate Parker take the controls in Anthony Hemingway's World War Two action adventure.

"I wouldn't go up in a plane again. I've done that!" he said.

"These pilots love to impress the actors by having them throw up. The first time, I was like, 'Are you proud of yourself?' So when they went up with these kids for this film, I was like, 'No, no, no. I know exactly what you're looking to do'."

Cuba - who previously starred in 1995 HBO TV movie The Tuskegee Airmen - realised that winning an Oscar does not guarantee a fast-track ride to the role.

"Everybody involved in this project said, 'Do we start afresh, and do we take this film where there is no resemblance to the previous film?' That meant no actors previously involved would want to be involved with this one," recalled the actor, who picked up the Academy Award for his performance in Jerry Maguire.

"But I said to Anthony over dinner, 'I've got a lot of films, and I am laser-focused to make sure that the portrayal on this movie is true. Why wouldn't you utilise that, no matter what my association to The Tuskegee Airmen is?'."

:: Red Tails opens in cinemas on June 6.

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