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THE Q&A: Jeremy Lin’s Life Is a Movie By Rebecca Haithcoat

With a documentary about him hitting theatres October 4, and his recent teaming up with Dwight Howard and James Harden to chase an NBA title, it’s clear this point guard has a good handle on things.

Jeremy Lin is an unlikely movie star. But then again, until he led the New York Knicks to a seven-game winning streak during the 2011–2012 season, he was an unlikely star, period.

Now, however, the member of last year’s Time “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” list has not only sparked a global phenomenon known as “Linsanity,” but there’s also a documentary of his career thus far bearing the same name that comes out October 4. The film was warmly received at its Sundance premiere this year, with the Los Angeles Times writing of its “rousing response” and calling it one of the festival’s biggest crowd-pleasers.

The doc, directed by Evan Jackson Leong, shadows the slick point guard from his days leading Palo Alto High School to the California Division II state title to playing at Harvard through his early NBA struggles and recent surprising turn as the Knicks’ saving grace in what looked to be a lost season. Speaking of grace—the film also explores Lin’s public identification as a Christian.

When we met Lin, who signed with the Houston Rockets last year, at one of Hollywood’s hippest hotels for celebs, The Roosevelt, we decided to sidestep the underdog questions and get right to the good stuff—music, girls and video games.

You’re kinda an anomaly, right? You probably have all your sound bites.

In a lot of my past interviews, this stuff has all been brought up. I have a lot of stuff I go back to, yeah.

Well I’m not talking to you about any of that, because I want to talk to you about music. Did you pick out the music in the doc?
No, but if there was something I didn’t really like, I’d just let them know. But I really enjoy the music.

What do you not like?
I’m not a huge fan of classical music, or trance or rock or house. Although I’m warming up to house music!

I know you like Lecrae.

He’s really cool.

Do you have certain music you play at certain times?

Yeah, usually when I get up in the morning, or on the way to my first workout, I’ll listen to Christian music just to get my mind right or remind myself what I want to try to focus on that day. I listen to Christian music before the games—same thing, it gets my mind right and helps me mellow down. Helps me tune down the excitement. It could be anything. Mostly it’s gonna be band music, like Hillsong. Hillsong United is probably who I listen to the most. They’re just a band. They have a lot of different songs. And before I go to bed or if I’m just driving around in the afternoon, hip-hop or R&B.

If you had to tell me a song you wanna hear right now, what is it?
Does it have to be recent? I like some of the songs on Jay Z’s album he just came out with. And Drake just came out with an album. I also like old school songs, like by Usher…

Do you like any of that Ratchet-and-B sound? Being from L.A…
That’s not as much as… I haven’t gotten into all that yet. But maybe!

What’s it like living in Houston as opposed to New York?
Houston’s a lot more slower-paced. People are extremely nice. Food is really good. I just think, in general, it’s a slow-paced lifestyle, and I think that fits me. That’s what I enjoy being around. New York’s really fast. L.A. traffic is tough. But the weather is unbelievable.

I can’t imagine growing up here and then having to move away.
Well going from California to Boston wasn’t exactly one of the better things that happened to me.

What do you listen to in hard times?
I listen to Christian music during hard times. To be honest, if you heard a lot of Hillsong’s songs, you wouldn’t even—if you didn’t hear the lyrics, if they were just a little blurred out, you would just think it was some mainstream song. Then you hear the lyrics and you realize it’s talking about God.

Do you have time to date, by the way?
I haven’t dated in a couple years. But um, I’m not sure. I haven’t really met too many people. My lifestyle’s a little crazier, just in terms of travel. And the minute this season ends, which is when I have free time, I go right back to California.

What do you do out here?
Spend time with family and friends. I work out and go back home to see my parents. Go back to my church that I grew up in, Chinese Church in Christ Mountain View.

I see you got these little stripes carved into your hair, and you were singing B.B.D.’s “Poison” in the doc!

This is a little inside something between me and my little brother.

Did you lose a bet?
Nah, nah, we both have it! It’s a form of brotherhood. When you see him later, you’ll see he has a couple, too.

Do you have tattoos?
No.

So it’s your version of tattoos?
[Laughs.] It’s as close as it’s gonna get for us.

Are y’all close?

Yeah, me and my little brother and my older brother are all really close. People make fun of us, talk about us being too close. When we’re around each other, we’re pretty much inseparable. We play basketball, video games, go eat, hang out, you bring your friends, I’ll bring mine. They support me, come visit me, they come to my games, I’ll go to theirs. My little brother plays at Hamilton College.

Did you get the new GTA V?
[Laughs.] No. We play on the computer. We like to playDefense of the Ancients. It’s part of Warcraft. We tend to play that, and most of our close friends play, too, so we just have a thread and coordinate that way.

You don’t drink or anything, do you?

I will, but I don’t drink very often. Have a glass of wine or casual beer. But being an athlete, you don’t drink that much. Even your diet, it affects how you feel, how you feel on the court. I don’t eat fried food, I don’t drink much alcohol. I don’t eat much candy.

Are you ever tempted to do that stuff?

I love fast food, I love candy, all that! But once you get used to it, it’s ok. Once you make it a habit, it’s fine.

What do you prefer, In-N-Out or Fatburger?
In-N-Out. It’s not even close.

Why!? I think Fatburger is so much better!

Fatburger is good, but when you talk about bang for your buck, [it’s In-N-Out]. Fatburger is really good. You get the egg on there and everything. Cheese, bacon. But that’s a little too much for me.

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