In anticipation of tonight’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors (10:30 ET, ESPN), ESPN today launched “Chicken Curry,” a new “This is SportsCenter” commercial featuring Warriors star guard Steph Curry. The speedy guard works alongside the 1 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter anchors Stan Verrett and Neil Everett (see video above).
Front Row spoke with Verrett and Everett about their experience shooting with Curry in ESPN’s cafeteria in the Los Angeles Production Center and working together again for the campaign.
What did you think of the plot of the ad, when you first heard it?
Verrett: I thought the idea was great. Very clever. I also happen to love curry chicken. So the area in which we were filming smelled wonderful.
– Stan Verrett on which NBA “This Is SportsCenter” co-star is the better actor, Steph Curry or Kevin Love
Stan, how many takes did you have to shoot to nail that confused and serious stare you give Curry?
Verrett: It took quite a few takes to get the stare just right. The director, David Shane, is a perfectionist and wanted to get it done the way he envisioned it. I think it worked.
Neil, what acting tips did you give Curry?
Everett: Steph Curry was not acting. He really thinks that we have a cafeteria at the Los Angeles SportsCenter studio, and he thinks curry the dish is named after Curry the ballplayer. Great shooter, not that bright a bulb, unfortunately.
You two starred together in another food-themed “This is SportsCenter” commercial with another NBA star – Kevin Love (“Double Double”). How do Curry’s acting skills compare to Love’s?
Verrett: It’s hard to pick one over the other. Kevin’s admonishment when I was badgering him for more caffeine was spot on, but so was Steph’s sincere thanks to the cafeteria crew for honoring with the day’s menu choices after big games. If I had to pick, I’d choose Kevin because he made it harder to keep a straight face when we shot it.
Everett: Again, Kevin Love was having a mid-basketball-life crisis, and he honestly thought he was a barista. After Stan’s hospitalization for caffeine overdose, Kevin decided to stay with basketball.
Neil, in working with Stan again for the campaign, how much does your timing as a SportsCenter team translate into working with him for these spots?
Everett: There’s a reason that ESPN paired a Verrett and an Everett, OK. We are like Sam Jackson and John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction.”
Mashable has published another look at the Steph Curry “This Is SportsCenter” campaign.
Dan Quinn contributed to this post.