In looking over the footage for the doc, was there anything that surprised you?
Curry: I guess the one thing that surprised me was how bad my first college game was. Because I tell the story—I’ve told the story all the time. Like you saw, you can hear, “He had 13 turnovers in this game.” And Coach had to make a decision, do I keep playing him or bench him? He could have made or broken my college career at that moment. But it was worse than I remember.
How do you go about forgiving yourself for a bad performance or a bad mistake?
Curry: It’s easier to move on to the next thing as long as you’re not cheating the process. In terms of learning the lessons you need to learn, you need to be honest with yourself, vulnerable with yourself. I know human nature is powerful, the mind is a powerful thing. You can’t be afraid of failure, you can’t be afraid of the negative outcome.
Coogler: I try to do analysis. If I have a failure, I see if there was any points where I could have done better. Was it anywhere where I had an inkling and went against it? Or I didn’t do something I knew I should have done?
I got Panther shot in maybe 100 or 117 days, or something like that. Not all of them 117 days I was efficient. So, after a day when we didn’t really get what we needed, it’s like alright, cool, well, what happened? Did you not have a shot list? Did you not talk to the actors? Some days you might get rained out. You can’t control that. And like Steph’s saying, you gotta be in honesty with yourself like, man, did I do everything I was supposed to do? Could I have been better? But the thing is, you got to get excited and say, “I’ma fix it tomorrow.”
Peyton: So, I’ma be real.
Yeah, please. I hope everyone’s being real.
Peyton: There’s this irrational confidence that both Steph and I have.
Curry: You’re a maverick.
Peyton: In my day-to-day life, I’m constantly examining how I can be a better husband, father, all those things. As a producer, I think the idea is to work as hard as you can to make this thing better. But once that thing is there, to me, it’s beautiful. It’s almost like a baby coming out. No matter the scars or whatever, to me it is beautiful. Because, before, that thing did not exist. So now that it exists, it is beautiful.
Steph has said that faith is an important part of his life. The documentary, in that vein, feels almost spiritual.
Curry: There’s the old saying that I’m not smacking people over the head with the Bible or trying to force anybody to adopt a belief. It’s about identifying, what makes you unique? What do you tap into? That is like a superpower.
Coogler: In a way for me, like, [long, long pause] it’s like, the film is like, constantly in conversation with fate.
Curry: You said “fate”?
Coogler: Fate. Like, I think about, what if that didn’t happen? What if Coach McKillop didn’t leave him in that [first college] game? And didn’t play him in the second game? I think he was signaling to Steph and to Davidson, and to everybody, “I didn’t pick him up for a player he is going to be. I picked him up for right now. [Bangs the table] You don’t sit on a bench man. ‘I’ll put you back in when you ready?’ No. Right now. You’re ready right now, even if you think you not ready, I’m gonna show you that you are.” And that? Well, that changed basketball. Not benching that freshman changed the way we play basketball.