The term "GENTLE GIANT" is a cliché, but in the case of Michael Clarke Duncan, it was completely appropriate and so true.
In the Green Mile, Duncan was a marvellous revelation and his performance was just exceptional. When I saw him in this movie, I had no idea how good he was, and quite frankly, I couldn’t believe he didn’t win an Oscar for best supporting actor that year.
His play as “John Coffey” was special; he blew me away and broke my heart. A truly amazing and show-stopping performance...
In 1999, Tom Hanks was about as big a movie star as there was in the world at that particular moment, and while he may have been the face on the poster and the name that guaranteed the budget, Michael Clarke Duncan is the reason "The Green Mile" is "The Green Mile"
With a casting as dense with talent as that one was, Duncan's performance as "John Coffey" was truly unique. When Stephen King himself visited the set, he was so pleased and so surprised to be dealing with this tangible near-perfect realization of the character he created.
In everyday life, Michael Clark Duncan was an incredibly easy person to be around, open and friendly and well aware of his own iconic visual impact. He knew that he was a mountain of a man, and even if his presence, in the Green Mile, was exaggerated using forced perspective, old-fashioned fruits boxes and camera angles to make him bigger, he was huge in real life.
He was the sort of person who filled a space with a great laugh, a great sense of humour and play, and a real love for life and the people around him.
Like many people, I didn't know he'd had a heart attack a few months ago, but certainly recovery from that is never easy, and it sounds like it was just a natural hiccup, the result of never quite catching his wind again after his last near-miss.
God Bless you, Michael Clark Duncan, God Bless “John Coffey”…