Iron Mike Tyson and his acting career: Who is the Shakespeare character he would like to play?

Iron Mike Tyson is known for his incredible knockout power and menacing aura in the boxing ring but one of his most surprising skills is his well-cultivated tongue that he uses to produce some superb moments of poetry throughout the career. Now he wants to use it to recreate William Shakespeare, so who would he like to play?

Many fans will remember his, “All heads must bow, all tongues must confess,” line about the legendary Muhammad Ali as he admitted the now-dead boxer was better than him in their primes, and he seems set to take that to the TV or cinema to portray Othello.

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“I absolutely want to do Shakespeare,” Tyson said to the Daily Mirror. “I was just talking to somebody, and he quoted, ‘First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers’, and we laughed.

“And then he said that came from Shakespeare’s Henry VI, all the lawyers. Shakespeare said that. He had such powerful insights.

“I don’t know which exact role I would want, but I know it would be challenging to do Othello. I couldn’t do a performance on the stage as it would be mortifying, and the camera filming a show would be easier for me.

“The role is very complex and would need a lot of studying. I would need to work on my linguistics. Wouldn’t Shakespeare be awesome? That black guy… Could you imagine me in Othello.”

Tyson’s already got a history of appearing on film and television with memorable roles in The Hangover, when he knocked out Zach Galifianakis’ character, or Law & Order, the Undisputed Truth and Mike Tyson Mysteries.

Despite the roles being primarily comedy-based, as Tyson’s intimidating and tense presence offers a juxtaposition to light-hearted narratives, he sees himself as a drama guy and admitted comedy isn’t really for him so it’s no surprise that he wants to tackle someone like Shakespeare.

What is Othello about?

Othello is a tragedy revolving around the Moorish general Othello, his wife Desdemona, and his ensign Iago. Othello, a respected military leader in Venice, secretly marries Desdemona, much to the dismay of her father, Brabantio.

Iago, feeling resentful towards Othello for promoting Cassio over him, plots to destroy Othello’s life by manipulating him into believing that Desdemona has been unfaithful with Cassio, exploiting Othello’s insecurities about his race and Desdemona’s fidelity.

Othello’s jealousy consumes him, leading to tragic consequences. He kills Desdemona in a fit of rage, only to learn too late that she was innocent. Overwhelmed with grief and remorse, Othello takes his own life.

The play explores themes of jealousy, betrayal, racism, and the destructive power of manipulation. It remains one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated and studied works, showcasing the complexities of human nature and the consequences of unchecked emotions.

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