Cuba Gooding Pinpoints Where It Might Have All Gone Wrong

If you wonder why there was an epidemic of Oscar-related humility this year, particularly coming from blogger-against-his-will George Clooney, one need only look as far as his fellow Best Supporting Actor winner, Cuba Gooding Jr., who recently admitted his own hubris caused him to perhaps make some not-so-smart career choices following his win:

He recalls, "Steven Spielberg came to me and said, 'I want you to be in Amistad and I said, 'It's a slave role; show me the money. I'm so a big thing,' and he goes, 'I can direct you.' and I said, 'No, I have to pass.' "To me, at the time, I remember this interview I read (with) CHRISTOPHER REEVE talking about SUPERMAN. What other role could live up to being Superman; he was Superman. I bought into that. "People were telling me (of Jerry Maguire), 'You're black, it's a comedy role, you're not gonna win this thing.' So, when I won it, it was like I had all these things in my life - 'This is what you are, this is what you've become... Now represent that. I have arrived and now I have to live up to this thing.' "(I didn't know) the next day I should have rolled up my sleeves and said, 'OK, now let's continue on this journey.' Creatively, I stopped myself."

Yes, one can safely be categorized as "ego tripping" when you're turning down a personal job offer from Spielberg by barking your obnoxious, cliched catchphrase into his face, while clinging to your personal mantra, "I'm Superman! How can I possibly top that?!" It's level-headed, savvy maneuvering like that that can turn you from "Cuba Gooding Jr., Oscar winner" to "Cuba Gooding Jr., Horatio Sanz's Boat Trip love interest" in just six years.