After depleting his life savings to enter his team in the competitive Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) is thrown unfortunate curve balls, including losing his team to his longtime nemesis (Nick Kroll).
Desperate to win the tournament’s cash prize and prove himself worthy, Dax luckily stumbles upon the legendary Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one last time. Uncle Drew reluctantly agrees under one condition, he picks the team. The two embark on a road trip to round up Drew’s old basketball squad (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson and Lisa Leslie) and prove that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to, despite your age.
In the Spring of 2012 audiences first met the unforgettable Uncle Drew in the digital episodic series, originally conceived by Pepsi. After a successful five years as a fan favorite, Uncle Drew will hit theaters June 29, 2018. Check out our exclusive interviews with the hilarious cast as they discuss set life, their personal victories and getting into character.
The Knockturnal: Were there any similarities between your character Uncle Drew and who you actually are?
Kyrie Irving: For sure, I wanted to let that shine through. The love I have for the game, life lessons I’ve learned by watching the older generation, paying homage to those who have come before me and just by being me but a bit older.
The Knockturnal: The movie is a comedy, but it does have a positive message about forgiveness and reconciliation and just recently in your own personal life, you reconciled with a close friend of yours, so what inspired that reconciliation?
Kyrie Irving: Kehlani? Oh yeah, those are life lessons that I’ve learned. I have such a big heart and the fact that things were going on behind the scenes that I really had no idea about, I really couldn’t really stand behind in terms of who supports me wouldn’t want to see someone else do well. Especially when we’re in this “inclusive” society where that’s a theme now, like okay you include this, but I don’t want to ever see a woman go through this, it was completely wrong and I’m just a really big advocate for peace and harmony in terms of that.
The Knockturnal: The movie was hilarious, everyone is actually so funny but who was the funniest off set?
Lil Rel Howery: Outside of Tiffany (Haddish) if I were to pick, Nate Robinson. He doesn’t turn it off!
Nick Kroll: I’ve described Shaq this way too but Nate’s a rascal. There’s a moment when we were trying to shoot this scene, it’s a long night like five hundred extras, they’re trying to keep everyone quiet and then all of a sudden music starts playing over the loud speaker and they’re like, where’s the music coming from? All of a sudden you see Nate in the corner, he’s got his phone in the microphone and he’s just playing Migos. It was just so funny!
The Knockturnal: What was the take away message of Uncle Drew?
Nate Robinson: Being family, like Uncle Drew and Shaq’s relationship, they butt heads and then bring it together later on. Even with family nothing is going to be perfect, so they come together, put their differences aside and move forward, so I think that’s a pretty cool message.
Lisa Leslie: Knock me down 9 times, get back up 10!
The film hits theaters on June 29