Looking Back at Shaquille O’Neal’s Acting Career

by Jeremy Spirogis
Shaquille O

When it involves the multi-hyphenate movie star, few have the eclectic resume that NBA famous person Shaquille O’Neal has.

At any given second, O’Neal was a rapper, a basketball participant, a online game star, a pitchman, or an actor. This appearing profession has turn into considerably notorious however memorable. For a time within the mid-nineties, nonetheless, Hollywood was banking on O’Neal’s actual star energy to make some cash. 

Shaq goes to Hollywood

Shaquille O'Neal being interviewed
Shaquille O’Neal being interviewed | Nick Agro/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank

RELATED: How Shaquille O’Neal Spent His Whole L.A. Lakers Paycheck In Two Days

Around the identical time that O’Neal was drafted in 1992, he had his first style of Hollywood. In the film Blue Chips, Nick Nolte performs a basketball coach who’s determined for a win. In a world the place a number of the prime colleges within the nation are illegally paying their gamers, Nolte had to determine simply how far he was keen to win a basketball sport. 

To add a way of realness to the film, director William Friedkin and his crew drew from the true basketball world. Legendary coaches and gamers appeared all through the movie. Among these gamers had been future teammates Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway, who performed two of the group’s star gamers. Even at an early age earlier than his superstardom, O’Neal confirmed the charisma to be a much bigger star. 

After going primary within the 1992 NBA Draft, he turned a mainstay on tv by way of commercials, speak present appearances, and visitor spots on a number of reveals. As O’Neal proved that his expertise was greater than hype, he turned a family title that unfold past the realm of basketball fandom. By the mid-nineties, Hollywood got here calling in a extra important method. 

Kazaam, Steel, and an notorious legacy

[embedded content material]

O’Neal has all the time been a grasp of branding. Ten years faraway from his NBA profession, he’s nonetheless a staple of American media. One can be hard-pressed to activate a basketball sport and miss a industrial starring O’Neal. The top of this hype, nonetheless, was throughout his days with the Orlando Magic. While they weren’t his winningest days, O’Neal was nonetheless recent on all people’s thoughts. 

The 1990s had been a golden age for household leisure, and O’Neal had the star energy and the kid-friendly picture to be a draw for individuals all over the place. Hollywood noticed this.

O’Neal headlined two motion pictures within the mid-1990s known as Steel and Kazaam. While neither was a field workplace success, they’ve turn into cult classics for basketball followers all over the place.

Kazaam tells the story of a rapping Genie who will get trapped in a boombox earlier than being launched by a younger boy. Throughout the film, Kazaam raps and performs feats of magic whereas serving to the boy rekindle a relationship along with his father. The movie has turn into the supply of each ridicule and nostalgia. 

O’Neal’s second try at a Hollywood stardom was in Steel. Based on DC Comics character, Steel was a superhero film at a time when any superhero however Batman wasn’t sure to attract a crowd on the field workplace. Like Kazaam, the movie tanked.

These motion pictures had been an important step in O’Neal’s profession, nonetheless, as they helped him study to concentrate on basketball. 

This didn’t cease him from taking appearing roles, nonetheless. 

O’Neal’s later work

[embedded content material]

RELATED: Shaq’s Early Tweets Helped Bring Sports and Social Media Together

O’Neal started to concentrate on basketball after switching to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, his Hollywood ambitions nonetheless got here to play now and again. He won’t have taken any starring roles, however O’Neal cameoed in a number of motion pictures all through the years, from Scary Movie 4 to a slew of Adam Sandler motion pictures.

Recently, O’Neal took on his most distinguished function in 20 years. In Uncle Drew, Kyrie Irving performs an ageing basketball participant who groups up with O’Neal and a number of other different former NBA gamers as they attempt to win a event at Rucker Park.

The movie was a success with basketball followers and confirmed the O’Neal nonetheless has the chops to hold an entertaining film. Time will inform if he ever tries to tackle large roles once more, however O’Neal’s legacy on movie is without doubt one of the extra fascinating points of his total profession. 

Leave a Comment