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Shaquille O'Neal: An NBA Player Who Chanced Hollywood & Dreamed Of Becoming An Even Bigger Star
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online News“Who am I to say no to Hollywood? You know, everybody wants to be a movie star,” Shaq told Hollywood Reporter in an interview recently. The man who is often referred to as the most powerful center in the history of the NBA is quite the opposite off-court. He loves interacting with the fans and there's no better way of giving it back, than Hollywood. © Getty Images Big Shaq has had quite an illustrious tryst with Hollywood, to say the least, and while his prime playing days are past him, it doesn't look like he's giving up on Hollywood any time soon. Being called the 'Wilt Chamberlain of the modern game' is no mean feat. O'Neal demanded respect on the courts and boy, did he get it. With 4 NBA Championships to his name, you can't deny that he deserved it either. But, what's all this popularity if you don't put it to use, right? The only logical way forward would be to turn to Hollywood. The Rock managed to carve a niche out for himself and is one of the biggest names in show business today. So, why can't Shaq? © Getty Images While Shaq certainly wasn't the first NBA star to work in Hollywood, he's one of the only few to have had lead roles in multiple movies. With 23.7 ppg and 10.9 rpg, Shaq is undoubtedly a legend of the game. But, will he become a legend in Hollywood? Here's a look at what he's been a part of so far, and what we can expect from him in the future: Appears As Himself We're going to get this out of the way up front. Shaq has appeared in countless movies and TV shows as himself. He was a popular guy. You can't blame producers for wanting to add one of the most bankable stars in the NBA to their shows/movies. © Buena Vista International He has appeared as himself in 'The Lego Movie,' 'Scary Movie 4,' 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' 'My Wife & Kids,' 'Fresh Off The Boat' and 'The Simpsons' to name a few. But, you don't get to show off your acting skills while playing yourself, right? So, let's move past these appearances and look at the times when Shaq was acting. Blue Chips (1994) A proper basketball movie that deals with the illegal practice of paying “blue-chip” prospects to entice them to join a college. It's a pretty serious film and was Shaq's first major role in a movie. © Paramount Pictures There were cameos by a number of other prominent basketball stars too and with Nick Nolte at the helm, the movie looked promising. Unfortunately, the movie failed to recover its budget of $35 million falling short by $12 million. Kazaam (1996) This was Shaq's first starring role in a Hollywood production. He played the genie Kazaam and helps a boy by the name of Max sort out his life. There are some hilarious scenes in this movie and even though the audience might not have been laughing at the movie, but at Shaq himself, it was a fun movie from our youth which is worth reminiscing. It fared a lot better at the box office almost earning its budget of $20 million back. The movie even had a rap song from the 7ft 1in center. If that doesn't sell movie tickets, we don't know what will. Steel (1997) Before there was 'Iron-Man', we had 'Steel'. Yes, Shaquille O'Neal was way ahead of the curve in terms of superhero movies. He played the DC character John Henry Irons and was slammed by critics and fans alike for being too cheesy. © Warner Bros. It was certainly a new low for Shaq and it looked like he could never recover from it. The movie earned just $1.7 million on a $16 million budget. Shaq lent his voice to the soundtrack of this one too but it was already evident that audiences liked him more for his dunks than his acting. Grown Ups 2 (2013) Okay, you aren't going to get an Oscar-winning movie when Adam Sandler is involved. But, that doesn't mean we don't get a few laughs out of it. © Sony Pictures Releasing We finally got to see Shaq in a high budget Hollywood production in this one and even though he only has a few minutes of screen time it's enough to prove he can act. His scenes are hilarious and 'Grown Ups 2' was enough to convince us that we needed to see more of him on the big screen. Uncle Drew (2018) The movie only recently released and looks like one of Shaq's best. In less than a week, it's already earned almost double of its $17 million budget and that's a pretty good sign of how good it is. © Lionsgate 'Uncle Drew' is proof that Shaq can also entertain a movie audience. All he needs to do is focus on making the movie, instead of trying to plug in his basketball days. Well, this movie is about basketball anyway so we can't say it would be difficult. But, there's absolutely no world in which we would want to see a 7ft+ genie folding a man into a ball and then dunking him down an air shaft in the finale of a movie. Big Shaq will always be a basketball star for us and all his fans. But, as long as he can keep his basketball career separate from his Hollywood career, there's no reason why Shaq can't make a name for himself in Hollywood or, to say it right, make an even bigger name for himself in Hollywood.