Shaquille O’Neal, who is perhaps one of the most recognizable faces in the world, is not afraid to talk about his humble beginnings.
From transforming his legendary NBA career into becoming a movie star, a musician and fashion designer, Shaq’s life since retiring from the NBA has definitely not been boring. With a new movie on the way and his latest collaboration with JCPenney, sat down with Shaq at the unveiling of his exclusive big & tall brand, Shaquille O’Neal XLG.
“A big guy can’t afford a $1000 suit, that will throw everything off. You have to pay rent, you gotta pay the car note, help with the babies, so $1000 will throw you off. $200 is good because at least you can get one nice suit,” Shaq told AOL about his collection with JCPenney. “What I know about men is that when we throw on something nice, it makes us feel good about ourselves. It doesn’t matter what size you are. I don’t wanna do suits that I used to wear, I don’t want to try and sell $1000 suits to the common man. I can’t do it.”
The 7-foot-1-inch athlete may have made hundreds of millions in his career but that hasn’t stopped him from understanding most of the world.
“I respect the common working man and my spoiled rich brat days are over. It was a hard-working man that created the man that I am. My father would never even look at a $1,000 suit,” O’Neal explained.
“What I realized over 20 years of personal research is that every time I go to a Big+Tall store and want to get something cool, they don’t have it. So big guys just say ‘forget it,’ so we have the same old jackets, no pattern in our ties and a stupid white shirt with buttons – and I’m like f*ck that, I wanna dress like Tom Cruise, I wanna dress like Will-I-Am.”
Shaq has a new cameo on the way in Taraji P.Henson’s upcoming film, “What Men Want.” When AOL asked how that project came about, he recalled a story explaining his secret to casting in over 15 movies without using an agent.
“The crazy thing is, growing up I never wanted to be a movie star. A lot of people don’t get calls from a director saying we want you to be in a movie. If I get a call from any director, I’m doing it. I’ve had 15 calls and been put in 15 movies. Some good, some bad but it’s all about the experience. I’m walking down the street one day and the guy says ‘Hey, I’m shooting a movie called ‘Blue Chips,’ and we want you in the movie. I was like ‘huh,’-he said Nicole Nolte is in it. So I said ‘wow, sure I’ll do it!’ and that’s how I’ve always got my movie roles. I don’t have a movie agent like people just call me.
“So Will Packer called me and said, ‘Hey Taraji wants you to be in the movie’ and whatever actor turns down Taraji P. Henson is an idiot.”