Kareem Abdul-Jabbar- ‘Airplane!’
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar might not have played Roger Murdock if it weren’t for one thing… a rug.
“When we offered the role [of Murdock] to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I think we offered him $30,000, and then the agent asked for $35,000 because that’s how much this rug cost that Kareem wanted to buy,” co-director Jerry Zucker told The A.V. Club. “It was an oriental rug—an art piece, not one to walk on, I don’t think—so our initial reaction was, ‘That’s got to be the best line we’ve ever heard from an agent.’ It was like, ‘Boy, this guy’s really creative!’ But then a couple of weeks later, there’s an article in TIME with a picture of Kareem standing in front of the oriental rug that he’d bought for $35,000 after we’d paid him.”