In an in-depth interview, Dr. Oz talks with actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. on the many facets of his movie career and personal life. Gooding discussed with Oz his different roles in films, his health scare, and dealing with the death of his father. His father, Cuba Gooding, was the lead vocalist for the R&B group The Main Ingredient, which had a hit with the song “Everybody Plays The Fool“.
Oz remarked on how fit Gooding appeared and asked how he maintains such a great physique. Gooding says he has been boxing for 25 years which helped him in his role as a retired boxer in Bayou Caviar.
Oz asked Gooding, “What have you learned that you would tell others?” Gooding says, “Stay focused on your craft.”
Gooding remarked on the passing of his father. “It is very hard,” he told Oz. He says his parents split up when he was young. He never understood his father until he stepped on stage like his dad. He says, “If you can combine the talent with family, you will be very rich.”
Oz asked Gooding, “How did you deal with the role of playing O. J. Simpson?” Gooding responds, “I had just split with my wife, had a young daughter, and was living in the same area where this happened. It was very dark for me to play this role. Something happened. I have been pulled over by the cops and was racially profiled. To see and walk in the shoes of the character that had no way out was very eye-opening.” He went on to say, ” I believe O. J. has many concussions from all the years of being pressured to play football.”
Gooding has a voice that tends to be hoarse. After extensive medical exams, he was found to have no polyps or cancer.
“Playing different characters, what it’s taught me is that experience gives you character, and when you survive something, it leaves an imprint on you that prepares you for the next something,” Gooding remarked.
“My mom said, ‘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,” said Gooding.
Cuba Michael Gooding Jr. is an American actor and comedian. He gained his breakthrough role as Tre Styles in Boyz n the Hood, he appeared in A Few Good Men, The Tuskegee Airmen, Outbreak, and Jerry Maguire, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He gained later attention for his roles in Men of Honor as Carl Brashear, and in Michael Bay’s WWII epic Pearl Harbor as Doris Miller. His other notable films include As Good as It Gets, the ensemble farce Rat Race, American Gangster, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and Selma, playing civil rights attorney Fred Gray. In 2016, he portrayed O.J. Simpson in the FX drama series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and co-starred in the sixth season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story, subtitled Roanoke.
Photo courtesy of Bing via atlantablackstar.com