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Author Topic: Million Dollar Baby article in Washington Post  (Read 2581 times)
exit00
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« on: September 21, 2004, 05:51:48 PM »

In today's Washington Post (Tuesday, Sept 21) Style section, there is a big article about actors playing athletes in movies. However, the first third of the article is about Million Dollar Baby and stuff about Clint and Hillary Swank.

Some highlights in the article (I don't have a link as I read this in hard copy):

1. Eastwood plays a disillusioned trainer who finds new heart teaching a woman to become a professional boxer

2. Eastwood says he doesn't believe moviegoers will accept body doubles, trick edits, or computer-generated special effects in a realistic emotional drama.

3. Will reach theatres later this year or early next.

4. Swank trained for three months before filming - 2 1/2 hours a day in boxing clasees with an additional 90 minutes lifting heavy weights.
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KC
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2004, 06:20:54 PM »

Thanks,  exit00! The article is available online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37153-2004Sep20.html (registration may be required)

I'll quote the first part, which is the part that is relevant to Eastwood's film ...

Quote
Fore! The Actor as Athlete Wants to Play Through

By Bridget Byrne
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, September 21, 2004; Page C01

LOS ANGELES -- Silhouetted against a stark brick wall, a speed bag bobbing inches from her face, a young woman says, "I promise I will work so hard."

"And you are not going to come crying to me when you get hurt," an older man responds.
 
It's Hilary Swank and Clint Eastwood, playing a scene in "Million Dollar Baby," filmed this summer in Los Angeles. Eastwood directed the drama and plays a disillusioned trainer who finds new heart teaching a woman to become a professional boxer.

But the dialogue could just as easily reflect an off-screen conversation between actor and director. Savvy from watching myriad close-ups and slow-mo replays during televised sports events, today's audiences expect more authenticity from actors who portray athletes. And as several new and upcoming movies demonstrate, actors are going the extra mile to attain the physique and form of professional sportsfolk.

Eastwood's credentials are certainly in order. The 74-year-old filmmaker, who says he "boxed a bit when I was a little kid," later trained with Al Silvani, who worked with pro fighters including Rocky Graziano. Silvani, now deceased, also provided technical help on Eastwood's 1978 film "Every Which Way but Loose" as well as "Raging Bull," which won Robert De Niro an Oscar in 1981.

Eastwood says he doesn't believe moviegoers will accept body doubles, trick edits or computer-generated special effects in a realistic emotional drama. For "Million Dollar Baby," which will reach theaters later this year or early next, it was important for his leading lady to have the right stuff.

"I liked Hilary as an actress, and after I met with her I felt she had the work ethic," says Eastwood. People who work on Eastwood sets aren't given to hyperbole, so no one is suggesting that Swank could turn pro tomorrow. But technical adviser Don Familton of the La Brea Boxing Gym praises "her energy, attitude, enthusiasm and aptitude."

Swank was the ultra-slender winner of the Best Actress Academy Award in 2000 for "Boys Don't Cry." Dressed in a gray T-shirt and jogging pants, her hands wrapped in punching bandages, her hair an untidy braid, her only makeup sweat, the actress says: "One of my big passions as an actor is embodying the character . . . so I just knew in order for this to really work, I really had to pass as a boxer."

Swank adds, "I knew I needed to gain weight, but it had to be muscle." So she trained for three months before filming -- 2 1/2 hours a day in boxing classes with an additional 90 minutes lifting heavy weights. She upped her protein intake, drank egg whites and flax oil, ate raw fish and woke up in the middle of the night for a protein shake. Her left rotator cuff gave her some trouble for a while, and she developed infected blisters from being on the balls of her feet when she sparred.

But she ended up with the muscle and the moves, able to land a punch and take one in the gut. No doubling needed.

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Brendan
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2004, 07:22:51 PM »

Great read, thanks.  8)
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2004, 01:17:24 PM »

Great read, thanks.  8)

I second that.  ;D
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2004, 01:20:21 PM »

rumble young mr clint rumble

heres hoping we will get a website with some photos shortly there were some good ones in mystic river

does he actually put gloves on and box anyone?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2004, 03:33:51 AM by vik » Logged

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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2004, 03:15:32 PM »

Hey This is one movie I have got to see :D

It's different and has Clint's stamp all over it.  Thanks for the report.   8)
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