Director Reggie Rock Bythewood reveals what it was like working with basketball star Kevin Durant on the Apple TV+ series Swagger.

“When I first met KD he was at Golden State at that time and I flew up from L.A. and met with him, and really had no idea what to expect, didn’t know if I was gonna like the guy or not,” Bythewood told uInterview founder Erik Meers. “But he was so humble and giving. He’s just so passionate about the comradery and the friendships that he created when he was a 14-year-old youth player.”

The series follows a youth basketball team, focusing on the story of 14-year-old Jace (played by Issiah Hill) who’s story is inspired by Durant’s rise to fame.

“We saw hundreds and hundreds of kids for this role and there was never any real strong contender because of all the demands of this character,” the director said, “and so when saw Issiah’s audition reel we all got excited and he just came in and really felt like we were seeing Jace Carson right before our eyes. And it was very exciting, you know, Issiah allows us to not have to lower the rim.

“You know, you’ll see one of our favorite moments from the pilot, where he’s having a really, a really interesting conversation with O’Shea Jackson Jr. and during this scene, it’s all one take, you see Issiah make 10 free throws in a row. And so it was just very satisfying to be able to just have like real layered storytelling, really deal with the depth of our characters and have amazing basketball on top of it.”

According to Bythewood, “swagger” isn’t about displaying “machismo,” it’s about confidence that “comes from within.”

“When we talk about ‘swagger’ we say it’s really about having a cause bigger than yourself,” he said, “whether it’s your team, your community, your people, your family, and it’s that cause bigger than yourself that actually gives you the swagger.”

Swagger is available on Apple TV+. Check out the trailer below!

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