(CBS) - All American Stories is the latest project from Super Bowl champion Spencer Paysinger on The CW. Following the success of All American, which is based off Paysinger's real life, All American Stories looks at other real life athletes as they balance excellence on and off the field.
CBS' Matt Weiss spoke to Paysinger about what to expect from his latest endeavor.
MW: Spencer, nice to see you! Excited to talk to you about All American Stories in a little bit but first I wanted to ask about All American. How did that come about? It's not every day that someone makes a show about your life story.
SP: Yeah. Honestly, it started initially with my time with the Giants. I would watch a new movie every off day. I just got to the point where I thought I could write and create some of the things that I was seeing in Secaucus. For years I wrote my own little short stories on my computer.
Good friends took notice and connected me to their friends and we were just off to the races. After that, we had a bunch of conversations with Warner Brothers. Specifically, one, just telling them about a few stories about living in Beverly Hills, a few stories about being in South Central. We went into contract negotiation right after that.
MW: I'm sure there's been a bunch of them, but can you pinpoint a favorite moment of yours from the show?
SP: I would say I always point to episode one, in our pilot. There's a moment where Spencer is talking to Leila, and he's pretty much reading her. He's telling her, like, hey, you're actually a DB. You like to be alone on an Island. You like all eyes on you essentially.
It kind of hits her because she's finally feel seen for the first time. It's uncomfortable. That's something that literally on the last days of writing the pilot, our writer Edward Blair sent it to me. I was like, actually, let's change this part to being the DB not a linebacker. So, she agreed. We got it into the pilot and I'm 20 yards away watching it being said and realize, wow these are my words being acted out by actors. It was completely insane.
MW: That's awesome. What a wild experience, even for you. You won a Super Bowl. You've had some wild experiences, but that has to be up there too.
SP: Yeah. Absolutely.
MW: Now moving to All American stories, how did this project come about and what made you want to be a part of it?
SP: Yogi Roth came to me towards the middle of the fall last year and said, hey, we found a bunch of these crazy, interesting athletes that have done everything from climb the seven highest peaks in the world to being an Olympic hopeful and turned into a guide runner for another person. They came to me with this idea, I saw the stories, I read about them and looked up each person and really jumped at it. I felt like a lot of them have probably more compelling stories than All American. They should have the show not me. [laughs]
MW: I'm sure you're selling yourself a little bit short there, but about those athletes, what can you tell us about a few of them that really struck out to you?
SP: Yeah, one his name is Leo Rogers. He's part of the upcoming part two of our series on March 29th. He's somebody that grew up as a motorcyclist but ended up getting into an accident in Tampa to where he had to get his leg amputated. Instead of giving up that dream regarding a motorcycle or bike anymore, he got back on a bike and started building community.
He always says, he wants his life to be an inspiration. Just not letting things like literally a leg being taken off your body stop you from putting that smile on your face and the face of your community. It's just a testament to who he is and just to the stories that we're attempting to tell.
MW: What's the process for finding these athletes?
SP: Honestly, that's all Yogi Roth. If we get to tell more stories I want to be a part of that process. But early on, he came to me and said, I've already found these athletes and I just want to help telling these stories. Unfortunately, I wasn't part of actually like mining these athletes and the stories to tell. It's a true testament to Yogi Roth.
MW: What do you want people to take away from All American Stories?
SP: If you're looking for inspiration, if you're looking for hope, just watch these stories. Specifically coming out of the year that we just had in 2020, which we want to rewrite history books with 2020. A lot of people were second guessing themselves. A lot of people are wondering, do they still have it in them to do what they wanted to do to chase their dreams or just so many things going on in our minds.
I have two small kids that I'm raising in COVID right now and if you watch these stories like you have no excuse not to go out and chase your dreams. That's to me, that's the message.
MW: A message we can all use right now. Thank you so much for the time Spencer and all the best to you. Take care!
SP: Thanks Matt, you too!
Tune in at 9:00PM ET/PT on The CW for All American Stories. Check your local listings for more information.
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