Home Film & TV Who is Stan Smith? Meet Stan Smith and Director Danny Lee

Who is Stan Smith? Meet Stan Smith and Director Danny Lee

by Neil Bui

Who is Stan Smith? is the documentary that answers a question many outside the world of tennis have had as they put on the iconic shoes by Adidas named after the professional tennis player. Dorkaholics was invited to speak with not only the director of this documentary, Danny Lee, but also the star and subject matter of the film, Stan Smith himself.

Neil Bui: What was it like for you to hear from loved ones, friends, family, from throughout your life, coming together to share what their experience has been like with you in their lives?

Stan Smith: Well, it’s fun. Many of the most important people in my life were in the film. That was important, as far as having that as a bit of a legacy of my life as a father and as a husband and a competitor and a friend. I’ve been blessed with a lot of great relationships, which is really what it comes down to at the end, not just accomplishments that take place.

Neil Bui: For Danny, what was it like for you to come into this project, knowing that you would get to create this documentary around, literally, Who is Stan Smith?

Danny Lee: It was a privilege, it was definitely a privilege. It’s this name that we’ve heard throughout our entire life. I think Stan’s peak in tennis, even when the sneaker came out, I was years away from being born. But I knew about this mythical figure named Stan Smith. It was ubiquitous, you always knew about it, so it was a pure privilege, but then as I got into it, it was a pure joy. To meet Stan and be welcomed into his family with open arms. Since then, we’ve remained so close in touch. Stan even came over to my house and met my sons. It’s a family affair. And I think that’s what Stan preaches the most is the importance of family. Not only was it a privilege and a joy, but I learned a lot from Stan. I learned humility. I’ve learned the importance of family. I learned how your legacy is defined not only by your accomplishments, but what you do for other people. And that may seem simple and almost trite, but it’s the very essence of the film. As I was exploring it, I think the obvious approach is ‘okay, we’re telling the biopic and timeline of this iconic figure who won championships and had a sneaker.’ But, I thought as we unpack this mystery and even through the process of it, it was an exploration and reveal that those two things were secondary to what was actually important, which are, doing good and doing right by people.

Apply to host your own screening of Who is Stan Smith? by visiting the documentary’s website: https://www.whoisstansmith.com/host-a-screening

Where to watch Who is Stan Smith?

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