*We caught up with the stars of Disney’s new series in “The Crossover,” based on the critically-acclaimed best-selling novel by Kwame Alexander.
Per the synopsis: “The Crossover” introduces teen brothers Josh and Jordan Bell, widely considered basketball phenoms. Through his lyrical poetry, an adult version of Josh, aka Filthy, narrates the story of he and his brother’s coming of age, on and off the court, as their former professional basketball player father adjusts to life after basketball, and their mother finally pursues lifelong dreams of her own.
EP Kimberly A. Harrison said the series has something for everyone, as the first few episodes definitely triggered nostalgic moments for me.
“As a parent, it’s taking you back to your childhood.” And you’re sitting there with your kids and actually seeing like, “Hey, mommy experienced the same type of stuff that you’re going through now.” So I just feel like The Crossover really opens it up for a bigger conversation in your house,” Harrison said in our exclusive conversation.
When asked about the creative team’s goals while developing Kwame’s book for television, executive producer/showrunner Damani Johnson said, “The number one goal was don’t mess it up!”
“The Crossover was one of those things of fortuitous timing,” said Johnson. “My daughter and all of her friends had just finished reading that as part of their school when they were like, “Do you think you can try to adapt this?” And I said, “No. I don’t think I can do it.” And it just required digging into it,” he explained of the novel.
“At the end of the day, just trying to stay true to The Crossover and true to Kwame. It’s already there, so just don’t mess it up. That was in the back of my head,” Johnson continued.
Derek Luke and Sabrina Revelle (Credit: Disney/Alyssa Moran)
“The Crossover” stars Derek Luke (“Chuck Bell”) Jalyn Hall (“Josh ‘Filthy’ Bell”) Amir O’Neil (Jordan ‘JB’ Bell”) Sabrina Revelle (“Crystal Bell”) Deja Monique Cruz (“Maya”) Trevor Bush (“Vondie”) and Skyla I’Lece (“Alexis”).
Luke plays a loving husband and father to 13-year-old twins Filthy and JB. He is a former pro basketball player who, as Deadline describes him, “knows everything there is to know about the game.” Revelle portrays his ambitious wife Crystal who has her own rich plot this season. I spoke to both stars about Chuck and Crystal’s family dynamic and what they hope viewers take away from “The Crossover.”
Watch our conversation via the clip below.
“The Crossover” is now streaming on Disney+
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