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Thunderstruck: Actor Taylor Gray, others talk about being on the job with Thunder star Kevin Durant

John Rohde catches up with actor Taylor Gray, director John Whitesell and producer Mike Karz to find out what working with Kevin Durant on “Thunderstruck” was like.
BY JOHN ROHDE Modified: August 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm •  Published: August 19, 2012

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.' "


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.