You've Been Thunderstruck!
Gofobo was fortunate to sit down with the cast of Thunderstuck at a press conference earlier this week at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas, TX.
From the get-go comparisons to Michael Jordan’s Space Jam were inevitable. Almost immediately a reporter asked if “he [Durant] would ever star in the Space Jam sequel he had written is his [reporter’s] head. Without missing a beat Durant replied “Nah, man!” The Warner Brothers folks in attendance were quick to mention that Space Jam was a WB property, tongue firmly in cheek.
For Durant, the film represented a change of pace. He “…just wanted to step outside the box. I just wanted to try something new. Aaron Goodwin came to me before with the idea and I kind of brushed it off, but then I said, ‘hey why not? Let’s try it.’ And I read the script and it felt like it was more catered to me, and everyone on set made me feel comfortable. That first day, I was nervous and seeing Taylor he made feel more comfortable, Brandon as well, and I was able to just cruise on from there.”
Part of Durant’s childhood, and key to his success, made its way into the film. The phrase “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard” is heard more than once. Durant first heard it “when I was eight years old or nine years old I think, I had to write it down in a composition notebook, and I’ve been using it ever since then.” It’s a phrase that co-star Brian (Taylor Gray) takes to heart when making the decision whether or not to return Durant’s skills.
One of the highlights of the film is the comedic interplay of Coach Amross (Jim Belushi) and Assistant Coach Dan (Robert Belushi), father and son, in real life. When asked how it was working with his father, Robert replied “The most fun we have is when we are playing with each other, trying to mess each other up/improvising, we did do a little of that on here and I think it’s pretty.”
The Belushis aren’t the only parent-child combo in the film. Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, also made her on-screen debut. Wanda, decked out as a cheerleader, attempts to help Kevin out of his slump the way only a mother can – with a bowl of homemade soup and some encouraging words. Talking about her experience on-set set, Pratt said “Well it was a lot of fun. And Kevin was a natural, I was surprised on how well he had done on set, and then when I saw the movie, it was just so surreal to me that this was my son, in a major motion picture, starring him as himself. So I feel like I want to cry now, but I won’t.” She then proceeded to tear up, as any proud mother would.
Thunderstruck, starring Kevin Durant, Jim Belushi, and newcomer Taylor Gray hits theaters today in a limited number of cities