What The Hell Happened To ... Cuba Gooding Jr.?
Show him the money.
The Oscar Win
The year 1996 changed everything for Cuba Gooding Jr., for it was the year of Jerry Maguire. A decade into acting, he took one of the defining roles of his career: pro football player Rod Tidwell, the aging, disgruntled client of sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise). The role reunited Gooding with his A Few Good Men co-star and boosted both actors' careers with one simple line: "Show me the money." Cruise, previously nominated for 1990's Born on the Fourth of July, notched another Best Actor nod from the Academy, but Gooding won the statuette for Best Supporting Actor; his acceptance speech is the stuff of Oscar legends. (It also curiously pre-dated Cruise's couch-jumping antics nine years later, strangely ebullient and distancing to fans.)
But what prospects awaited the new Oscar winner? Would his agents steer him towards bigger studio vehicles, or could Gooding hold out for the meatier stuff, as befitting a serious thespian?
Next: Cuba Tries to Become an Everyman --- as in, Every Genre