The new sports biopic “Shooting Stars,” which recently premiered on Peacock, tells the incredible true story of NBA Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist LeBron James and his friends who played together as the #1 high school basketball team in the country. Starring Wood Harris, Marquis “Mookie” Cook, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalie Paul, Algee Smith, and Dermot Mulroney, Khalil Everage, Sterling “Scoot” Henderson, Katlyn Nichol, Avery S. Wills, Jr., the film traces the ups and downs of the “fab four” as they are mentored by their coach Dru Joyce.
Stepping into the legendary James’ shoes was “a tad bit” intimidating, Cook confessed, but McLaughlin, known for his breakout role as Lucas on “Stranger Things,” had nothing but praise for his co-stars portrayal.
“Mookie playing LeBron, meeting him at first, you wouldn’t be like, ‘Okay, he doesn’t really look like LeBron that much, maybe a little bit’,” he said. “But he carries a spirit of LeBron. He’s a leader. Filming with him and seeing him like, tap into that—this is his first film, he had so much pressure, and he was just ready for it. He definitely did his thing, so I have to commend him for that.”
With life imitating art, the actors, like their real-life counterparts, got along great, but also had a momentary disagreement they had to work through, Cook explained.
“We got into a little argument, and we were mad for a little bit, not talking,” he said. “But literally right after that, we chopped it up. We talked and it was like (okay). I think that’s all we ever after that.”
McLaughlin added, “I’ve been on a lot of sets, and I felt like this was very special, I built a genuine bond with the guys or ‘the fab four.’ I feel like that will be friends for a long time. I think that was the difference from any set where I’ve made a bond with a lot of other actors. The bond that we had on this one was different. Before filming and after filming—we would film until 2am—we’d play video games, and stay up until the sun came up.”
“Shooting Stars,” directed by Chris Robinson (“Beats,” “Grown-ish”), is now streaming exclusively on Peacock.