Usher talked about his upcoming role as boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in the upcoming film Hands of Stone with UK Independent. The film centers on the story of Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán and also features Robert De Niro and Gael García Bernal. On being selected to portray the boxing legend, Usher said, “It was proper casting. I was selected. They approached me to do it. And all I had to was consider it.”

More vivid examples of Usher’s humility – including his talk of possibly winning an Oscar – are below:

On his “proper casting” compared to the abilities of De Niro and Bernal (“proper actors”), and whether he is at all intimidated at getting in the ring with them, so to speak…

“Not at all,” he says, “not at all. There’s a respect for both parties. I’ve seen Oscar winners come out of left field.”

On Oscar winners coming out of left field, and what he believes his chances are with this particular role…

“I’m just saying Jennifer Hudson,” comes his reply (it’s not a denial), by which he means: Hudson, an American Idol runner-up, won an Oscar for her first-ever film role, in Dreamgirls. “I’m not even saying…” he begins. “You asked me, is it OK to assume that an actor who doesn’t have as much skill can’t out-act an actor who is well-decorated? And what I’m saying is, if you take a moment to just analyse… No… I’m not intimidated in any way. Because there’s a shared passion and respect among all of us, and it’s the type of script that will allow all of us to shine.”

He added further…

“I don’t know if this is the one that would win me an Oscar or not. I’m going into it offering my interpretation and my hard work and my dedication to be the best Sugar Ray ever. Or as good as the man can be. I’ve spoken to him, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to live up to him. But I’ll try to be better than him.”


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