The documentary’s producers, “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler and Unanimous Media’s Erick Peyton, revealed the Golden State Warriors star wanted to pull the curtain on his personal life “to reframe the quote-unquote celebrity athlete documentary.”
“On the surface, someone could write this film off, but this is a film about the power of being seen,” Coogler told the Daily News.
He added: “That was the biggest thing I think that Steph did was allow himself to be open at a time when he was trying to accomplish so much that requires so much focus. Trying to take a team on a playoff run, trying to complete your undergraduate degree, trying to break a three-point record. All these things were happening while he was opening up his home and allowing us to follow him to games and film his children.”
The doc highlights several pivotal moments in Curry’s journey, including his three years at Davidson in his college days, a time where his athletic abilities were initially underrated. It’s a word the athlete now proudly embraces as a “badge of honor.”
“He knew who he was, so when he started to overcome people’s opinion, he stayed who he was,” Peyton noted. And so you start to use that as your superpower, as that chip on your shoulder to keep proving people wrong.”
Viewers get a chance to witness some of those victorious milestones, such as the moment he broke a record at Madison Square Garden, a celebration he shared with familiar faces.
“I think there’s a running thread in the film, the celebrity interactions with Steph. Lebron coming to his college game, [Kevin Durant] stopping by and showing love to him in the afterparty after the record is broken, Spike Lee’s interaction with him, Reggie Miller reading the profile.”
“You have athletes and celebrities who maybe have their own stories of being underrated at a time, but they’re not underrated anymore. We recognize their greatness. You’re seeing greatness respond and react and support other greatness. Other greatness being Steph.”
This is especially apparent in an unexpected scene where a historic greatness-to-greatness exchange took place following Curry’s Madison Square Garden victory.
“We didn’t know that Spike Lee would pull up to his Subway commercial shoot to have it autographed,” Coogler shared speaking of the time the “Do the Right Thing” director asked Curry to autograph a copy of the Daily News with an article headlined ‘Madison Steph Garden.’
“I went to go see Spike and I actually saw where he has that article in his office. It’s up on the wall. I think he has the stat sheet too. It was pretty crazy. I took a picture.”
In an interview with TODAY, Curry recalled scenes in the documentary that blew him away as well.
“Even I learned a lot about my own story, because you kind of hear from other people’s perspectives on how impactful it was.”
It’s an impact Coogler and Peyton both hope viewers experience.
“Stephen Curry: Underrated” is streaming now on AppleTV.