DENZEL WENT OFF SCRIPT IN HE GOT GAME, SCORES ON RAY ALLEN ON TAPE
Denzel is an amazing actor. The man can do variety, to say the least. And the ladies don’t seem to hate on him too much. Like, at all. But recently we learned some behind the scenes details of what went down way back in 1998’s He Got Game. It’s because Ray Allen has been busy of late promoting his new book, From the Outside: My Journey Through Life and the Game I Love. In one recent interview, Allen spilled the beans about movie’s last scene where his character plays one-on-one with Denzel’s character. Allen is supposed to destroy him, 11 to nothing. But that’s not what happened at all. The basketball gods spoke, and Denzel scored on Allen. Then Cinderella showed up as Denzel kept scoring as the cameras rolled.
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It’s been 20 years since the release of Spike Lee’s He Got Game, so it’s fun to finally hear about this background film stuff. Allen said, “It was supposed to be 11-0. But when we started playing, [Denzel] started shooting the ball, and the ball was going in.” Spike Lee wrote the scene where a high school basketball wunderkid, played by Allen, destroys his jailed and estranged father. The stakes? If the father won, his son had to sign with a major college program, getting his dad out of jail early.
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But Denzel threw a wrench in the works. He figured he couldn’t win, but decided to try to make some shots. But Denzel wasn’t some virgin in the woods basketball player. He was an athlete who played two years of JV at Fordham. He said, “I just wanted to make some shots … You knew who was going to win. So, let’s play the game and see who wins.” But Denzel going off script pissed off a lot of the crew as well as Allen’s acting coach.
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According to Allen, “Everybody on set, including my acting coach, was up in arms. They were mad at me because I let him score. We cut at one point, and I went over to [my acting coach], and she’s like, ‘What are you doing? You’re not supposed to let him score.’ I was like, ‘Susan, basketball is unpredictable. I can’t zap my eyes and make the ball not go in. Once he shot it, I’m at the mercy of whether it goes in or not.’” That’s what happens when Cinderella scores on tape. Over and over again.