ACTOR TAYLOR GRAY
Plays 14-year-old Brian Newall, a clumsy kid trying to make his school's basketball team who idolizes Kevin Durant. A chance meeting mysteriously results in an exchange of their basketball talents. Gray previously starred in Nickelodeon's Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures.
What was it like working with Kevin Durant?
"He's the nicest, nicest guy there is. I can't stress that enough, and a great actor. I don't think everybody expected that, but he did a fantastic job."
Durant loses his shooting touch in the movie. Did he ever have trouble deliberately missing shots?
"He did. I remember the first day he actually had to miss. They had it set to make all these shots, and then he was supposed to start missing for a while. We had multiple days in a row where he was supposed to miss shots, but it was like impossible for him to miss. I'm like, 'Dude, I'll show you how to miss.' "
Your thoughts on the premiere being in Oklahoma City, just a couple blocks away from Chesapeake Energy Arena?
"I went to a couple of their games when we were shooting the movie and I feel like the whole state of Oklahoma comes to these games. … Everyone has their Kevin Durant jerseys on here (at the premiere). This is the best place to be right now."
They told Durant to just be himself in the movie. Is that easier said than done?
"They say the hardest character to act is yourself. If someone says, 'Just go be yourself,' that's a little weird. When you're being a character, you make very specific choices. When you're playing yourself, it's kind of confusing."
Did you help Kevin out with acting? Did he help you out with basketball?
"Both ways. When he'd come ask me about acting, I was just baffled because I'm like, 'You're Kevin Durant' That's kind of crazy."
You played high school basketball. How excited were you when you learned the part was yours?
"Oh, ecstatic. He's the biggest superstar in basketball, really. He's had so much success. It's amazing."
DIRECTOR JOHN WHITESELL
Had directed and produced more than 200 episodes of prime-time television, including "A Different World," "Coach," "Law & Order," "Roseanne," "Cosby," "Blossom," "The John Laroquette Show," "Damon," "Providence," "Jack & Jill" and "Grounded For Life." Movie credits include "Malibu's Most Wanted," "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son," "Big Mommas House 2," "Deck the Halls," and "Calendar Girl."
How do you turn a basketball star into an actor?
"The first thing you do if you're the director is you don't play him one-on-one, because then he's an advantage over you and he knows he can beat you. You've got to keep that a mystery. The second thing you do is you try to make him say, 'OK, I know what I'm doing. You know what you're doing. Let's see if we can help each other.' "
Did Durant help with the basketball aspect of the movie?
"I wanted to know exactly what he thinks. How to do it, what would make the move look better, what would you do? And that was great. He added a lot to that part of it. And he was great with Taylor."
What part of Durant did you want most to be portrayed in the film?
"Kevin is a wonderful person. He's a generous and giving and very charming person, and that comes out naturally. He's a little shy, I think. We had to let him feel comfortable."
Durant actually has apologized for missing shots with the Thunder. Did he apologize to you during the movie?
"Yes. At the very end of the movie, he makes like six 3-pointers in a row from the side before Taylor walks in. Kevin made five in a row, which I can make it work editorially, but he was like, 'No, I'll do it again. I'll make all six.' He was standing at half-court making shots."
And when he was supposed to miss a shot?
"I would say, 'Come on.' He'd say, "I'm trying to miss.' I'd tell him, 'Let me show you a different shot. Your shot's too good. That's the problem.' I thought, 'If he goes back to the Thunder and they don't start playing well, I'll be the guy they blame. Oklahoma will hate me. It's like I destroyed him.' "
PRODUCER MIKE KARZ
Has more than 20 years experience as a film and television producer. Most recently produced the romantic comedy "Valentine's Day" with Garry Marshall. Also produced "Sorority Row," "Good Luck Chuck," "First Daughter," "malibu's Most Wanted" and "Max Keeble's Big Move."
Was if difficult to convince Durant to do this movie?
"We feel really fortunate that Kevin had the guts to try something new. He was very clear he wanted to be able to practice. So he practiced every morning and then he'd go to the set, then he'd go practice again at night."
We've heard Durant sometimes apologized when he made a mistake.
"In basketball, you take a jump shot, you miss it and you go back and play defense. When you miss a line (acting), you just redo it. Take 1, Take 2 Take 3. He didn't realize you could just keep repeating a line until you get it right. He didn't miss his lines very often. He was great."
Does Durant have a future as an actor?
"Absolutely, he does.
“Basketball always came first, so we had to work our schedule around his (individual) basketball practice. He would practice every day and we would shoot between his practice times.