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LeBron James appears alongside Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in Judd Apatow‘s Trainwreck, hitting theaters this weekend. But although the six-foot-eight NBA player is familiar with performing on the national TV screen, he says the big screen initially made him nervous.
In his cover story with The Hollywood Reporter, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward said he was as nervous on the Trainwreck set as he was for his first professional basketball game.
“I was just trying to stay ready,” James said. “I was very nervous — all the way to the point where they said, ‘Action.’ ”
James plays himself in the film as Hader’s best friend: “I’m excited to be a part of Trainwreck because it gives me a different format. Some people are used to seeing me on the basketball court, so to see what I’m capable of doing on the big screen and being a part of something with Bill Hader and Amy Schumer and Judd producing the whole thing and directing it all, it’s pretty cool,” he said on set during his cover shoot.
Apatow commented on the NBA star’s acting abilities: “We tested the movie, and he gets laughter as big as anyone … The only fear you ever have with people of his stature is whether or not they’re game to have fun and take chances. They’ll say: ‘I don’t want to say that. That will sound weird. That’s not good for my reputation.’ LeBron is a very strong actor, and he has a fantastic sense of humor. We do a lot of improvisation, and he was really good at it. As a result, it’s a really fun, wild, slightly strange performance that really scores.”
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