The last time we saw Uncle Drew, AKA Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving‘s elderly alter ego, he was dropping jaws at a New Jersey court while covered in four hours’ worth of makeup. Today Pepsi MAX released the second chapter to Uncle Drew’s story, and Dime got an inside scoop from Irving himself during the filming.
I had the chance to talk with Irving about the character and its popularity as he sat in the makeup chair before filming. The ad’s finished product includes a cameos by Bill Russell and a starring role for Kevin Love’s “Wes” character. Pepsi MAX first introduced the “Uncle Drew” character in a 5-minute video that was part of the brand’s partnership with Irving earlier this year, which was then turned into a 30-second ad during last season’s NBA finals.
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Dime: So how long will you be in the makeup chair today, and does it get any easier?
Kyrie Irving: Four hours. And not at all.
Dime: That’s about as long as a Byron Scott practice.
KI: (Laughs). Yeah.
Dime: This time will you be in the same Uncle Drew character is will he get a makeover to throw people off?
KI: I’m the exact same character this time, yeah.
Dime: I know last time you shot the Uncle Drew ad were near your family home in New Jersey shooting, but this time where are you going?
KI: We’re out here in Ohio now.
Dime: With Uncle Drew, the first time you shot, did you get a sense that people knew they were being tricked by a character instead of an old man?
KI: I think they figured it out probably three quarters of the way through, seeing how I was moving and how a 70-year-old man can’t move. They just couldn’t figure out who I was!
Dime: When they figured out the joke was on them, were any players making guesses to you as to who you were?
KI: No one did, and I was a little surprised by that.
Dime: Then, once it came out were you surprised by how popular the video got online?
KI: It was surprising to me about how quickly it took off. But it was nice because we put a lot of effort and time into it.
Dime: Is this your chance to try out any new moves on these guys before you try it in a practice or game?
KI: Nope, because everything I do is instinctive out there. I don’t think there’s any move I can do I haven’t done.
What do you think of the new ad?
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