Chris Robinson talks about filming ‘Shooting Stars’ and the hunt for the perfect Lebron James

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Chris Robinson who directed ‘Shooting Star’ which follows the high school sports career of Basketball superstar Lebron James, reveals that filming the movie hasn’t been easy. The movie is based on Lebron James’ 2009 memoir and is co-authored by Buzz Bissinger. 

Filming of the movie

Talking more about the filming, Chris Robinson was appointed as the director of the movie. He was tasked with showcasing the high school basketball career of the young superstar as authentically as possible. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he reveals more about the filming process from planning to auditioning, all the way to post-production.

“Can you imagine being 15 and the whole world is having a conversation about you?” asks Robinson as he reminisces about the hype around James and his core teammates known as the Fab Four in junior high, and eventually the Fab Five as Travis joined their crew in high school.

“How did he keep his head? That’s stuff that, exploring it, learning it, figuring it out, and having an opinion on it, was important in the filmmaking process.

Robinson knew that fans already know a lot about Lebron and that he adds to add more to it. He wanted to tell the fans the story which went beyond the basketball court. 

“To be as authentic as possible. It’s tough because there’s a part of this story that people know through the documentary and the book, which were amazing. But to tell this, I had to still get it right on the point of tone; who these people are, what their values are, representing the Midwest and Akron, Ohio.” said, Robinson. 

Chris Robinson decided to shoot the movie in Akron, the place where it all began for Lebron. From the house Lebron James grew up in, to the school hallways that he walked, Robinson wanted to stick to the origins as much as possible. 

Finding the perfect Lebron James

Lebron James documentary film - Shooting Stars
The Cast of Shooting Stars © Universal Studios

Robinson emphasized finding the perfect Lebron James, and not merely by looks, Robinson wanted someone who could portray Lebron in his youth. It took almost 18 months and over 200 auditions for Robinson to finally find Mooke Cook who stars as Lebron James in the movie. Caleb Mclaughlin from Stranger Things also stars in the movie.

“Mookie did the audition and he didn’t know all his lines, and he didn’t really know how to project. But his energy and who he is, it was like we have to put our arms around this kid because he’s the one. We’ve seen, you know, 200 people, and some people studied LeBron and studied his walk and studied his vocal tone. Mookie just was Mookie and he was touching on it in a way that you got goosebumps through the Zoom.”

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Levin Plassery
Levin Plassery
Hello, My name's Levin, out here navigating through typos and writer's block, one word at a time. Ps, the glass in the picture is not a sign of my crippling alcoholism which has resorted me to writing, am only 21.