Just Wright: Common and the Queen (1 of 2)
May 10, 2010
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—In the upcoming movie "Just Wright," which opens Friday (May 14), Common plays "Scott McKnight," a star player on the Nets rehabbed by Queen Latifah's "Robin Wright." NJNets.com had the chance to sit down with the stars to discuss the film. Here’s a full transcript of the Q&A.
NJNets.com: What in your background helped you feel comfortable with playing the role of not just an NBA player, but a star?
Common: The first thing is that I had confidence in myself that I could accomplish a lot of things. But I grew up playing basketball – since I was in elementary school to high school, I played organized ball. Though I wasn’t playing a lot around the time I got this job, I started working out, and I worked out with (coaching associate) Jimmy Sann from the New Jersey Nets. He took me out to the court all the time; he was my coach, basically. And he coached me like he would any NBA player. I prepared my whole life, in many ways, for this role, because I always played ball.
NJNets.com: What kinds of workouts was Jim running you through?
Common: He took me through everything. We did a lot of shooting drills, put up a lot of shots, probably over 500 a day. And at a certain point, we were doing core exercises, we were doing defensive drills, we were doing ball-handling drills. He basically trained me like he would one of the Nets players.
NJNets.com: What did you notice improving after all that work?
Common: Definitely my shot. I developed a better mid-range shot, and even my three-point shot. I had to knock them down against the great D-Wade (the Heat superstar makes a cameo), so we worked on it. And I noticed my form got more specific, and that really got my shot better.
NJNets.com: I heard you shadowed Baron Davis to prepare for the role. How did that come about, and what did you learn from him?
Common: I’ve known Baron for a while, and he’s a real cool dude. I just called him and said, ‘Yo, Baron – I’m doing this film, and I need to pick up the nuances of being an basketball player.’ And not just ‘How do y’all deal with groupies?’ or ‘How do you deal with being a star?’ but I really wanted to know the heart and soul of what he felt, and let that cultivate my character. I picked up some information from him, talked with D-Wade a little bit, taked with Rajon Rondo and just took my role from there and developed Scott McKnight.
NJNets.com: Now your dad, Lonnie Lynn, played in the ABA with Rod Thorn, who's now the Nets President. That resulted in you getting a ballboy job with the Chicago Bulls back when Rod worked there – was it weird to see him again during filming?
Common: It was ironic for me to see Rod Thorn in the film. Knowing that he was the president of the Nets at the time we were doing this, the producer introduced me to Rod, and I was like, ‘Rod Thorn, wait. This is you! You played ball with my dad for a few years when my dad was in the ABA, and you got me my ballboy job. Now I’m playing on your team in the movie!
NJNets.com: What was it like throwing on that Nets jersey for the first time?
Common: Ah, man. I really felt like I was just in the NBA. Having the NBA socks and the Nets jersey and those things they wear under the shorts (compression shorts) … me and Mehcad Brooks, who plays my best friend in the film, it was like, ‘Man, we’re in the NBA!’ That’s what we felt like. We lived our dream of being in the NBA for those two months.