UNCLE DREW, arguably one of the most hilarious basketball movie to date is out today on DVD and On Demand with an unexpectedly funny all-star cast. Kyrie Irving, Chris Webber, Lil Rel Howery, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Lisa Leslie. Nick Kroll, and Tiffany Haddish star in this new classic full of knee-slapping humor for the entire family. The movie follows a young team owner and his pal Uncle Drew go on a wild goose chase to round up Drew’s old basketball squad and compete in a huge tournament to prove that old men can jump.
I sat down with five-time NBA All-Star, Correspondent— and old friend Chris Webber who plays the comically defiant husband of Lisa Leslie in the film. After catching up on our kids we discussed what it took for him to prep for this role, acting alongside the star studded cast he once played against and of course— his love for hip hop.
What was it like playing a preacher in UNCLE DREW?
Growing up the churches I went to… they were like that. The church I grew up in had 30 people seven of them were my family members, it really was a comfortable spot for me to be in and they let the little girl in the film be played by my daughter, my father… he was able to sit in there next to Lisa Leslie, it was great and I worked very hard.
That was your baby! My goodness she’s beautiful and I thought that while watching that scene, absolutely gorgeous, how was that working with her in the film?
Thank you! My daughter was four months at the time, she was real chill with it, I just held her for the close ups and it was just a real good vibe, and everybody I worked with from Lisa to Shaq and them, we were all cool. So it couldn’t have been a more comfortable setting to be vulnerable and really get that role right.
Yes I did several things I have a lot of old friends so I spend time with a lot of older individuals my father and his crew and older dudes and I took on a lot of their characteristics, a lot of characteristics of family members and things like that it’s funny you say music because there was an older soundtrack I was playing in my mind. My character hope Oakley don’t get mad because that’s my boy (laughs) but in my mind the character was a mix of Oakley, Al Sharpton, and maybe a couple of preachers that I know. I just tried to concentrate to make sure I did those revival preachers that I used to grow up listening to and doing them justice, I went to a large church and it was funny because the pastor was saying, ‘There goes the preacher from Uncle Drew, the church the band everybody started playing and I was like okay I must have did a real good job because the church is giving me love on it so I’m glad I got the character through.
It’s all good, as far as working with Shaq. I’ve been close with Shaq ever since we battled in Sacramento and the Lakers and so he’s been a friend, same with Reggie he’s my working partner and Nate Robinson I’ve known, Kyrie, we have a great relationship through Rod Strickland who is my close friend and godfather , it was no animosity on the set they say when you retire you miss the locker room and that’s true for me your body is hurt you don’t miss games or things like that anymore maybe once and a while but what you miss every day is talking to the fellas in that locker room and how it is we were able to get that on the movie set I mean every Second on set we were laughing and joking every second it’s a joke going on, I mean you had to walk off the concentrate because everybody knows each another so now there was no animosity it was a lot of fun and I think everybody wanted to do good for each other. I made sure I brought in great character so I did my best so Lisa would look good and she did the same so Nate would look good and we all did our best because Kyrie gave us a shot in this movie that he brought to the table so we wanted to thank him through all the hard work so it was a real good vibe on set.
Check out part 2 Friday when we continue our talk with Chris Webber about working with Nas, being judged by older players when he was in the Fab Five and why he doesn’t judge the younger generation in hip hop.