Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. and his family – wife Biscuitdaughter Elisa and son Andrew and I – were joined by a star-studded list of celebrities and professional athletes as they attended the premiere of ‘They Call Me Magic’ at the Regency Village Theater in Westwood on Thursday night.
Directed by Rick Famuyiwathe four-part Apple TV+ docuseries explores the basketball legend’s personal and professional life, as well as his lasting cultural impact, through a series of interviews with Johnson and his family, friends and fellow athletes.
Johnson’s life and rise to basketball glory was recently portrayed in the HBO drama miniseries ‘Winning Time,’ although the NBA champion has said so before. Variety he was not consulted on the project and had no intention of watching the show.
On the red carpet for the premiere, Johnson indicated he may have his own plans to create a feature film or miniseries based on his life. “Yeah!” Johnson said Variety with a broad smile when asked if he would like to be involved in a new production.
However, Johnson wasn’t sure which actor he would want to play – “I have to think about it,” he said. But he would recruit some of his closest actor friends, like Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington to feature.
With “They Call Me Magic,” however, the Olympic gold medalist admitted he refrained from watching the docuseries before the event premiered because he feared his perfectionism would lead him to interfere with the process.
“It would never come out,” he laughed. “I’m just a perfectionist. I want everything done the right way, that’s why I haven’t seen it. I let the professionals do their job.
In fact, it was the first time everyone in the Johnson family had seen the footage. “We wanted to wait and be surprised,” Cookie Johnson explained, adding that her husband “usually never watches any of his interviews. But this time, tonight, he will.
Overall, Magic Johnson hopes audiences will be inspired by his story.
“There are ups and downs in life,” he explained. “And how you handle those situations is important. All did not go well. I had difficulties, but I came back from these difficulties.
From growing up in poverty to living 30 years with HIV and even being nicknamed “Tragic Magic” after losing to Larry Bird, Johnson has never let hardship define him or to win against her.
“There was a big struggle and some tough times, but I’m a guy who handles it all head on, straight up,” he added. “I’m telling the truth. A lot of people don’t like that sometimes, but I’m an honest guy. That’s how I live my life. I’m happy to be like that because it’s helped a lot of people too. people.
Famuyiwa, who Johnson personally chose to direct the docuseries, praised the star. “They don’t make them like him anymore,” he said.
The “Dope” director also hinted that he’ll be working with another cultural icon for his upcoming documentary.
“Let’s hope this gentleman here,” he said, pointing Stevie Wonder, who was standing nearby. “We are working on him. With a bit of luck.”
When EJ JohnsonMagic’s son, sat down for his interview for ‘They Call Me Magic’, he discussed his relationship with his father and shared the story of how he came to be gay.
“I’m grateful that we continue to get closer and closer every year,” he said on the mat. “We just continue to love each other more. We have such a unique and powerful bond that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world and I think it’s because we forced each other to grow in that moment.
Also present at the premiere was Johnson’s Lakers teammate Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, Norm Nixon, jerry west, Stephen A. Smith, Patricia Arquette, Don Cheadle, Courtney B. Vance, Tina Knowles Lawson and Richard Lawson.
“They Call Me Magic” premieres April 22 on Apple TV+.