Isaiah Hill leads the cast in the role of “Jace Carson” on the hit original Apple TV+ series “Swagger.” Inspired by NBA superstar Kevin Durant’s experiences, “Swagger” explores the world of youth basketball, the players, families, and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption.
Tell us about “Swagger.”
“Swagger” is a coming-of-age story in America, that is captured through the lens of youth basketball. A coming-of-age story in America can mean a lot of things, and it doesn’t stop like every story in America. We have a view from every seat in the house. We got the players, we got the coaches, we got the brand deals, the sneaker business, the AAU political circle, and the barbershop, and it’s so many different elements that feel like it resonates with the coming-of-age story in America. We just want people to watch it and tap into what resonates with them and maybe learn something about themselves or about the world and society that they didn’t know and empowers them.
How would you describe your character in season one?
In season one we meet Jace, and he’s 14 years old. He’s a protector, and he understands his responsibilities. He has nothing but ladies in his life. He has his little big sister, his mom, and his best friend, which is like his sparring partner on the basketball court as well, and he just wants to protect what he’s got and elevate his lifestyle. He feels like he owes his mom the world because she’s done so much for him. Going into that school zone and that team zone, sometimes his passion for what he’s doing can misconstrue how he’s viewed. Meanwhile, he’s also going through puberty. He’s getting taller and older, and society is no longer looking at him like a little cute boy anymore. They’re looking at him like a young man that has to find his way.
This show is very popular, do you think it’s because it’s relatable?
Yes, it’s very relatable. We have a view from every seat in the house. You learn a little something about somebody’s side of the story that we don’t know. We like to challenge perspectives. Our director for the show, Reggie Rock, said we want the audience to lean forward, and while they’re leaning forward, we hit him with the truth. There are a lot of intentional messages after basketball games or before the games that you have to pay attention to and see how you’re feeling after you view these things because I think the show is used to create a better world in a way and make us honor our integrity.
This interview was conducted on July 12, before the SAG strike began.