Cuba Gooding JR regrets turning down the chance to play a slave in Steven Spielberg's epic AMISTAD, admitting he was too bigheaded after his Oscar win to accept certain roles. The JERRY MAGUIRE star accepts his career suffered as a result of the choices he made directly following his Best Supporting Actor Oscar victory in 1996 - because he decided he should wait for the very best offers, and turn down everything else. 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."