Kevin Durant is at the peak of his basketball game, having led the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals last season and then the US men’s basketball team to gold later in the summer. But he says his acting still has room for improvement.
The 6-foot-9 star hoops star used the NBA lockout to expand his acting skills, appearing in the Thunderstruck, a family-friendly move about basketball.
“Oh man, that was cool to see myself up on the big screen. It was different, OK, but it was cool,” Durant told the Tulsa World about the movie released Friday.
Kevin Durant actually turned down Thunderstruck when he was first pitched the comedy about switching his otherworldy basketball skills with a clumsy teenager. Producers shelved the project, which was really only intended for Durant, but then the lockout came and suddenly he had the time for the project.
Durant hit the red carpet this week in Oklahoma City for the premiere of Thunderstruck. Although Durant may be the world’s best basketball player at the moment, he says acting was still scary for him.
“Of course, people are going to look at it a little different because I’m a basketball player and I’m doing something different,” Durant told The Associated Press. “A basketball player is what I do. It’s not really just solely who I am. I like to do other things.
“It’s all about conquering your fears. That’s one thing I did with this, stepping in front of a camera and people yelling ‘Action!’ It’s not the norm for me. I did something outside the box, and I’m glad it turned out pretty well.”
As it was being filmed, Kevin Durant wasn’t too high on his acting skills.
“Man, I’d say I’m a 1,” he told the Tulsa World of his acting at the time, laughing. “I’m new to this. I’m trying to do different emotions and make it feel real to people, and it’s not easy.”
But as Thunderstruck is being released, Kevin Durant says his game has improved.
“I’d say about a 5 now as an actor. I’ve gotten better,” Kevin Durant said. “I know that if you work hard you get better. I worked.”