The Green Mile star passed away in September (12) at the age of 54, from complications of a heart attack he suffered at his California home in July (12).
His funeral took place in California and was attended by famous friends including Tom Hanks, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, along with Duncan’s co-stars from his last ever film project, In The Hive, which was released in December (12).
It has now emerged that director Robert Townsend agreed to preview unreleased footage of the film during the service as a favour for Duncan’s partner, Omarosa Manigault.
He reveals Manigault was moved by the movie’s story of a young boy sent to a ‘last chance’ school for young offenders and especially one scene in which Duncan’s character offers up some sage advice.
Townsend tells the Chicago Sun-Times, “I’ll never forget the day we did a scene for In the Hive where Michael has this boy in a corner and talks to him about choices. It was important for him to get that scene right. Michael even talked to me about growing up on the South Side of Chicago. He said, ‘Robert, these kids need help.’
“She (Manigault) asked me to show that exact scene from this movie at the funeral. She said, ‘This is Michael’s last movie and I’m so proud of it.’ At the funeral, we showed the scene and Tom Hanks, Loretta Devine and Jay Leno were so moved. Everyone was moved. I was crying like a baby. When the film faded, everyone at Michael Clarke Duncan’s funeral stood to give him a standing ovation.”