Swagger: interview with the cast

Swagger: interview with the cast


After showing the world of football with the acclaimed Ted Lasso, Apple's streaming service now takes us behind the scenes of teenage basketball with Swagger. Based on the experience of Kevin Durant, historic NBA name, the new AppleTV + show is a pleasant and exciting story of the first steps of a young basketball star, Jaice Carson (Isaiah Hill), who becomes our point of view of a world often forgotten in the sports narrative of the entertainment world.

A vivid and engaging experience, which we have previewed, appreciating the delicate emotional construction offered by Reggie Rock Bythewood, director and screenwriter of Swagger, who combines the portrait of the young man with his social dimension. We had the opportunity to meet the Swagger cast to find out what their feelings were in bringing this story to life, discovering from the hands of coach Ike (O'Shea Jackson Jr), the young Jaice Carson (Isaiah Hill) and of mother Jenna (Shinelle Azoroh) and enterprising Alonzo Powers (Tristan Wilds).

Swagger: the cast tells us about the AppleTV + series

Swagger portrays the difficulties of a young football player basketball, a teenager who finds himself having to manage incredible pressure for a personality still in formation. This feeling is transmitted to us by the presence of situations that seem to be in contrast with the traditional epic enhancement of the figure of the sportsman, showing us sides that seem to contrast with our 'epic' conception of the mature sportsman, of the champion.

"For some it will be incomprehensible, for others it will be inspiring, because it is often the challenges that make us what we are. Kevin Duran's story was our launch pad, we started from his experiences to create each character, looking for other elements where necessary to integrate. What we wanted to tell was, in addition to what it means to be a basketball promise, also what it means to be a young man, who tries to be the best to achieve his dreams. "

"The other series dealing with sports usually do so by enhancing the entertainment aspect. I think Swaggers is the first production that wants to tell the moment when young people approach this world, starting their journey as a star. We see them even before being at university having to feel this pressure, young people who are fantastic athletics already marked to be promises of high-level teams "

Not only do they want to highlight the hard life of emerging athletes , but as Tristan Wilds told us it is important to show how behind what we see on the court there is a world made of agreements and handshakes that discreetly directs the future of these young athletes, often forgetting that the decisions are being made. fate of young teenagers:

“I have read several books, trying to understand how people who are part of this business really think. I was inspired in particular by the story of a Nike executive, whose name now eludes me, looking for what are the real dynamics behind the spotlight. What we often forget about sport is that much of what revolves around money happens away from the pitch. These are not things that are decided in a room, but are born from a handshake, they arise from the synergy that arises during a meeting. Sounds ironic, but right now I'm on Broadway with a play where I'm playing a basketball coach, who's really hard on his boys. Studying for the part, I realized how true what we are saying is, sometimes parents are incredibly hard, convinced that it is the only way to live this moment, but it is not right. These parents who have this obsession do not understand that this is not the way, they must understand that every are is reachable, but that their children must find which dream to pursue and choose their own path. This pressure is everywhere, in every sport, even in your football, and it's ruining the kids "

Swagger focuses a lot on this trait, it accompanies Jaice's growth as an athlete to his maturation as an individual, through the match with his coach Ike. A relationship of mutual affection, specially designed and by Bythewood and beautifully rendered on the small screen by Hill and Jackson:

“It was important to create this empathy between Jaice and Ike, because Jaice needs Ike as much as Ike needs by Jaice. This is the basis of their relationship "

" The credit goes to those who have chosen the right man for the right role. I was placed late in production compared to the rest of the cast, but working with the right people helps you tremendously in bringing incredible characters to life. The luck of a film or a series is in the alchemy that is created between the characters already in the writing phase, and Isaiah and I immediately found ourselves in this, it was incredible "

" Totally d ' agreement. O’Shea has supported me enormously, helped me overcome situations in which he had already passed at the beginning of his career. And so did everyone else I've worked with on Swagger. For me this is my first experience as an actor and Shanelle helped me a lot, as with all the other cast members we created a unique, perfect alchemy. Between takes, we encouraged each other, we always wanted it to be clear that we were ready to support each other. For me it was a great experience, I enjoyed every moment "

A complicity between the two actors that gave excellent results, even if during our chat it emerged that their affinity was also born from a different one vision of basketball, where the two faced each other amicably, finally establishing who is the best shooter from the three-point spot:

“I can safely say that I'm the best on threes, because I don't like running. Isaiah instead runs, jumps, dives. Every day we forced ourselves not to jump with Isaiah, we were sure that sooner or later he would get stuck in something "

" O’Shea is absolutely the right man for a three point. While we were shooting we were careful not to leave balls lying around, otherwise O'Shea would start shooting and we had to hear him brag for the rest of the day "

Laughing and joking, during our interview we perceived the synergy that has been created among these actors, which allowed to bring out another fascinating trait of this story: the female component. Played by a wonderful Shinelle Azoroh, Jaice's mother, Jenna, is a column of the series, going to fill a role that, as the director and actress confirm, is a mirror of the everyday culture of the black population:

“This is something they particularly care about. Mothers are an essential part of black culture, they are the backbone of our community, as mine was for me or Jenna for Jace. Our mothers have always pushed us, Jenna has understood that she has to give her all for this, supporting her son of her in every way. Shinelle was perfect in giving the right spirit to the character, she maximized the role of her, her emotionality of her "

" Thank you for noticing, for me playing Jenna was a blessing. It's normal for people of color to try to have more, but for a black woman, even if we are important, it sometimes means being sidelined. For me it was important to give Jenna all these shades, to show how she was always there, ready to bite and grab every chance for Jaice. I immediately fell in love with Jenna as soon as I read the script, it was beautifully written. The people around me were also impressed, giving me further motivation to interpret it. What struck me was being able to see this boy, still a teenager and about to become a man, inspired me a lot, to develop a sense of protection, which helped me in the role "

But for Shanelle, another aspect it is fundamental to the black culture, and in Swagger it is rightly inserted as an integral part of the portrayal of these characters

“Music is central to our culture, it helps us to celebrate and to grasp our emotions. Just think, in the series we see that two different generations confront each other on hip hop, but these guys don't even know googoo, here we lack the basics! "

The meeting with the Swagger cast allowed us to further appreciate the excellent work of the director and actors, reconfirming the feeling that the new AppleTV + series is yet another thick production offered by the Appel channel , which is part of a catalog that has already allowed us to enjoy exciting adventures such as Ted Lasso, Foundation and The Morning Show.

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