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‘When he said that, it was like a Mike Tyson left hook’

WE’RE bat­tling to get our heads around this, but why would any­one be mean to MICHAEL

EALY? He must be the sweet­est, pret­ti­est man in Tin­sel­town, yet CHRIS ROCK didn’t al­ways seem to think so. Michael and the co­me­dian co-starred in the ac­tion com­edy Bad Com­pany in 2002 and the ac­tor has now told the Chicago Tribune the su­per­star comic had been pretty nasty to him when he returned to the set for reshoots. “Right be­fore [the di­rec­tor] says ‘ac­tion’, Chris looks over at me and he says: ‘Oh (pause). Still in the busi­ness, huh?’

“When he said that, it was like a Mike Tyson left hook. And I knew he wasn’t jok­ing around. I think maybe he was try­ing to dis­guise it as play­ful teas­ing, but it was a dig.” Michael was gut­ted by the re­mark but ig­nored it and car­ried on.

“He was a big star and maybe he didn’t think I was go­ing to be around much,” he re­called.

A few years later Michael was nom­i­nated for a Golden Globe for his ac­tion se­ries Sleeper Cell, and ran into Chris at the award cer­e­mony where he apol­o­gised. “You know what he said? ‘I love your work and I apol­o­gise for what I said’’.”

That ex­pe­ri­ence mo­ti­vated him, Michael added. “There will be plenty of peo­ple who won’t be­lieve in you. Some will be in po­si­tions of power, some will be huge stars. But no mat­ter how crush­ing it feels, you can’t give up. You have to keep push­ing.”

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