You Won't See the Actor Who Plays Michael Jordan in 'Air' Very Much in the Film — Here's Why

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Apr. 4 2023, Published 12:50 p.m. ET

Michael Jordan
Source: Getty Images

Michael Jordan

Designer brands may come and go, but Air Jordan is forever. The company was launched by world-famous NBA star Michael Jordan, whose entrepreneurial journey is depicted in the 2023 feature film Air. Starring Matt Damon, Viola Davis, Chris Tucker, and Ben Affleck, the movie is set to release Wednesday, April 5. But who plays Michael Jordan in Air? Read to find out!

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Who plays Michael Jordan in ‘Air’? Here’s everything we know about actor Damian Delano Young.

In Air, Michael is played by Damian Delano Young. His breakout role in the film comes after he was cast in Strictly for the Streets Vol. 2 on Amazon Prime Video and the short film Prom Night Flex, per IMDb.

However, in Air, Damian’s Michael is a man of few words.

damian delano young
Source: Valdosta State University Student Project/IMDb

Damian in a still from a student project

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Although Damian portrays Michael, his appearances in the film are rare as he’s either seen in the background or from behind. Ben, who stars as Phil Knight and also directed Air, shared the real reason why they chose to keep Damian’s face out-of-frame for the majority of the movie with CBS Sunday Morning.

According to him, the decision was made out of the film’s deep-rooted dedication to authenticity.

“This is a movie about an icon, about somebody who is so meaningful that the minute I show you somebody and tell you, ‘Hey, that’s Michael Jordan,’ you're just gonna go, 'No it isn’t. I know what Michael Jordan is, I know what he is,” he told the outlet.

“And not only that, but the only actor Michael Jordan was a little old to play this part, and we probably couldn’t afford him. But the idea was, if I show you … you know that’s not Michael Jordan. And now everything else is fake,” he added.

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Air might be based on a true story, but it details Michael’s partnership with Nike more than it does his life. In fact, Vulture purports that Damian only has two lines in the film: “Bulls colors” and “Hello.”

You can (kind of) see Damian in Air, premiering in theaters on Wednesday, April 5.

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