The CW will premiere a brand new series called All American on Wednesday, October 10th at 9:00PM ET/PT. All American stars Daniel Ezra as Spencer James, a talented high school football player and Taye Diggs as Billy Baker, head coach of the Beverly Hills High School football team. The series is based on the real life experience of former seven-year NFL veteran and Super Bowl champion Spencer Paysinger.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Paysinger before the show’s series premiere to discuss his involvement with the show and his transition from the gridiron to the writer’s room.
MW- Good morning Spencer, how’s it going?
SP- Doing well and yourself?
MW- All’s well over here sir thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. You’re a Super Bowl champion, working in television now and the new series All American on the CW is actually based on your life coming from Los Angeles and going on to star for the Beverly Hills High School football team. Just how close to your true life story are the events we’re going to see unfold in the show?
SP- There are a lot of similarities within the show. Starting out, creating the pilot everyone will see I gave a lot of stories and memories of my past to the writers to allow them the creative freedom to go and make a compelling story. It’s not 100% my story but the bones of it are truly accurate.
MW- How involved were you in the actual day to day shooting and production that took place?
SP- I had the luxury of being a consulting producer to go within the writer’s room a couple days a week and also to be on set as often as I wanted. This is something I’ve wanted to do since retiring from football so I’m soaking up as much as I can and being there as often as I can.
MW- There’s some great talent on this show as well. Daniel Ezra plays the pseudo younger version of you and Taye Diggs will play your Beverly Hills football coach. What’s it been like working with those two in particular?
SP- Daniel, specifically, he’s someone that I didn’t know much about, I just saw his audition tape and realized he’s a very strong actor. When it comes to the takes he has on set, he’s amazing. It’s never about not getting the right thing from him or pushing him to get the right take on a scene – he’s already doing that 100% of the time.
Then from the sideline seeing Taye’s perspective on Billy Baker, it’s amazing to see someone who’s been in this industry for so long still thriving and still able to hone in on their craft. One second Taye could be telling a joke on set and the next he could be shedding a tear. It’s a testament to him and who he is as an actor and as a person.
MW- This has all the elements of a great show to me, there’s adversity, there’s drama, there’s real truth – but how would you describe the show to someone interested in tuning in for episode one on October 10th?
SP- I would say it’s a story about a kid growing up in a big city from one part that’s less fortunate and having the opportunity to attend a high school in a more fortunate part of Los Angeles but not necessarily fitting in on either side. It’s the story of an outsider trying to figure out where he fits.
MW- A story that will resonate with a log of people I’m sure. Thanks for speaking with me today Spencer and good luck on the premiere!
SP- Thanks a lot Matt, been a pleasure.
All American premieres Wednesday, October 10 at 9:00PM ET/PT on The CW. Check your local listings for more information.