Stephen King has been one of the most successful literary masters in the world for a while now. While many ardent fans have cherished his horror novels over the years, the newer generation of audiences have been introduced to the unique artistic sensibilities of Stephen King through the multiple adaptations of his works.
Many great filmmakers have translated King’s horror to the cinematic medium, including Stanley Kubrick who directed the unforgettable adaptation of The Shining as well as Brian De Palma whose 1976 film Carrie is cited among the greatest of its kind. Even now, streaming platforms such as Netflix are adapting other King novels for future works.
This is definitely what King wants since he once claimed that he wanted all of them to be adapted into movies at some point. In the same interview, King was also asked to name his favourite actor who had worked on one of the many adaptations of his novels and the ‘Master of Horror’ did not hesitate to give his answer.
While acting legends such as Jack Nicholson have delivered unforgettable performances in Stephen King adaptation, Stephen King has a different presence. The author selected Michael Clarke Duncan’s work in The Green Mile as his all-time favourite and claimed that Duncan towered over the rest with that performance.
The Green Mile is definitely among the most beloved Stephen King adaptations and it stars Tom Hanks as a death row prison officer who has strange experiences after Duncan’s character arrives in the prison. Duncan is fantastic as John Coffey, a mysterious presence who has been convicted of raping and murdering two girls.
“I had a lot of crying to do, a lot of howling to do, and it took a long time to do it and it really drained me,” Duncan said on reflection. “I’ll remember that day more so than anything else because as we were filming that, everybody was rushing toward me.”
“What sticks most in my mind was his (Duncan’s) devotion to his craft and the strides he made as an artist during that time, which was beyond inspiring to those of us who took the journey with him,” director Frank Darabont added. “Never has an actor more richly deserved the recognition of an Academy Award nomination than Michael did for his performance as John Coffey.”