The highly acclaimed Netflix sports drama “Clash” is a brilliant showcase for lead actor Adam Sandler, but it also gives viewers a cute performance from co—host Juancho Hernangomez, who plays aspiring basketball star Beau Cruz. The real-life Utah Jazz player presented some solid chops in his professional acting debut, and also showed off his remarkable skills on the court. Hernangomes had several meaningful scenes in the film, and recently he discussed those of them that seemed to him the most difficult. And to be completely honest, his answer is not what I expected.
When you first work on a film, you might think that you have to go through a serious learning curve. The performer must follow the instructions and create chemistry with colleagues, among other things. Also, if you’re an aspiring actor like Juancho Hernangomes, you may have to train (and get outside help) in the finer aspects of the craft. At the same time, I thought that Hernangomes would be comfortable in the basketball scenes, although it turned out that this was the most difficult for him to perform:
Actually, basketball scenes! I mean, I used to play basketball, but it was hard to play again and again and then wait 30 minutes to change the camera. I sit down and warm up again. Stopping and starting was weird.
Basketball is a tough sport, there is no doubt about it. However, before reading the comments that the star shared with Variety, I would assume that the NBA veteran will have no problems getting on the court. Personally, it would be harder for me to listen to the trash talk from Anthony Edwards (who plays Bo’s rival, Kermit Wilts).
However, his feelings are understandable, since he is clearly used to playing ball continuously and not to alter things so that they can be shot from different angles. Just thinking about all the takes he probably had to do during filming is enough to tire me out. But, in the end, he did it, and I, like many others, am incredibly grateful for his contribution.
Not only the athlete’s game was on top, but also the cameras that filmed it. The director of the movie “Hustle” Jeremiah Tan, who can’t wait to work with his other NBA partner, has been thinking a lot about how he wants to shoot basketball episodes. He told our own ReelBlend podcast that he and his cinematographer Zach Mulligan couldn’t find a cinematic “model” of what they hoped to achieve in cinema. As a result, they pretty much used Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” to figure out how they would shoot basketball scenes.
Their efforts definitely paid off with a vengeance, as their precise choice of shots is noticeable in all the scenes on the court. This includes a wild scene in which Beau Cruz, played by Juancho Hernangomes, plays in construction boots, and an impressed Stanley Sugarman, played by Adam Sandler, watches it. This segment, which Hernangomes called “insane,” also took time to play out, and I’m amazed that he could play defense for hours in cleats.
Now that the NBA player has got his sea legs, he’s probably ready for whatever future basketball the movie might call him to play. Given the tremendous effort he has put into Hustle, one can only hope that Juancho Hernangomes will get another opportunity to show himself in future feature films.
Hustle, one of the biggest new movies of 2022, is now streaming for those with a Netflix subscription.