Despite Viola Davis’ vast background as an actress, which includes six seasons helming “How to Get Away with Murder,” taking on the maternal role in “Air” was a nerve-wracking experience. She might not boast top billing in the movie, but her character of Deloris Jordan is inarguably the most influential individual seen both on-screen and in Michael Jordan’s life.
It was his mother who urged him to attend a meeting with Nike, even though he had his heart set on a partnership with Adidas. It was also Deloris who ironed out the terms of his contract, which allowed Nike to use his name on products in exchange for a hefty sum of money.
Upon being offered the role, Davis was determined to depict Deloris as accurately as possible. She conducted extensive research on the kind of woman Jordan’s mother is, and loved everything that she discovered. In an interview with People, Davis said, “I use the term zen neutrality with her. Someone who just moves calmly through life, making major decisions, slaying dragons, making dreams come true. But doing it calmly and succinctly.”