Just Wright: Common and the Queen (2 of 2)
May 10, 2010
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—In the upcoming movie "Just Wright," which opens next 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.
Queen of the Court
NJNets.com: With all your diverse interests, what drew you toward making a movie so heavily intertwined with basketball?
Queen Latifah: My partner and I are huge basketball fans. He’s a manic – a total weekend warrior – and I played basketball in school from 7th grade to my freshman year of college. So we’re basketball fans, and we wanted to find a way to take a romantic comedy, something that was family-friendly, and not make it a chick flick, make it something that a guy would enjoy watching or a female who was a sports fan would enjoy, as well as the emotional, romantic, sexy parts of the movie. So we felt like that was the perfect way to combine the two.
NJNets.com: Your character, Leslie Wright, is a physical therapist. What did you learn from working alongside Nets athletic trainer Tim Walsher?
Queen Latifah: Oh, man. Tim Walsh is amazing. I already had some knowledge of physical therapy from the other side of it – not the therapist, but the patient side of it. What I wanted to gain knowledge about from Tim was: What do you say to someone who’s got an injury that may not be able to come back to the career they want so desperately. What do you do? What kinds of things do you say to pump them up? And it seemed like we were on the same page.
Of course, (also) some things about how to care for the patient. But really it was about, it was the motivation – how do you motivate these guys when they get hurt? How do you get them back on the court? How do you get that confidence back, so they go out there and play hard and know that they can do it. Tim was amazing. He was there 100 percent, rock-solid, so … ‘Love you, Tim!’
NJNets.com: What did you take away from seeing NBA-caliber players up close?
Queen Latifah: A lot of people think they can play in the NBA – they have these ideas that in another life, they would’ve been in the NBA. ... Nah. No. You would not. You could play basketball, but that level is incredible: the physicality of it all, the mental toughness, the physical toughness.
Every player gets injured, who plays in the NBA, but to be able to bounce back from that quickly, to recover, to play so physically strong … these guys body each other up every game. And I think when you see it on TV, you don’t feel the impact of it, but these are not little baby guys – they are giant men. They play really hard and they have a level that’s above and beyond what the average person can do. I have the ultimate respect for them.
NJNets.com: Being a New Jersey native, are you looking forward to the Nets playing in Newark next season?
Queen Latifah: I’m definitely coming to the Prudential Center to catch me some games in the Brick City with the Nets. Definitely.