Usher Talks Playing Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar Potential

Singer says Jennifer Hudson is proof of his film career possibilities.

Posted: 06/12/2012 09:00 AM EDT
Usher

Three months after teasing news of his being cast to play boxing champ Sugar Ray Leonard, Usher now confirms his role and talks of Oscar potential.

Talking to the U.K.'s Independent, the R&B giant discussed what attracted him to starring in the film Hands of Stone, which mostly centers on Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán (Gael Garcia Bernal).

"It was proper casting. I was selected. They approached me to do it. And all I had to [do] was consider it."

The fearlessness Usher is preparing to show in the ring apparently rubbed off on his self-confidence as an actor as he expressed no intimidation in acting opposite two screen heavyweights — Bernal and Robert De Niro…even hinting at a shot at Hollywood’s top honor.

When asked if he had apprehensions about acting with De Niro, he said, "Not at all. There's a respect for both parties. I've seen Oscar winners come out of left field."

Apparently referring to himself, Usher explained his ambitions for the gold statue, saying, "I'm just saying Jennifer Hudson. I'm not even saying...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…it's the type of script that will allow all of us to shine."

Whether Usher’s performance is worthy of the award remains to be seen.

Hands of Stone is slated for release in 2013.

 

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