Resurrecting the Champ
Resurrecting the Champ is not only the story of a boxer. It is the story of a journalist so excited about chasing the story that it affects his personal life. Writer/director Rod Lurie is a former journalist so he knew how to capture that excitement on screen.
Rod Lurie on Resurrecting the Champ Poster
“A lot of it is visual, isn't it?” Lurie said. “We've all been there, right? It usually comes when you get somebody on the phone that you're excited to get on the phone. Even if you're by yourself, there's a whole body language that goes into it. I remember when I was doing a book, a true story, that involved Ross Perot. I'll never speak to Ross Perot. One day, the phone rings, ‘Hey Rod, it's Ross Perot here.' We've all been there, right? When you get the ‘get’ and you get really excited. That's when you've got to take a deep breath and be really careful that you're not going to go in the direction of what you want the story to be as opposed to what it is.”
Playing the journalist, Josh Hartnett was able to capture some of Lurie’s own attitude, if not his exact mannerisms. “Like when he gets Satterfield's son on the phone, it's something that Josh and I really worked on. I acted out what my body motion is when I would get somebody on the phone and he didn't emulate that or impersonate that but he gave it his own spin. To a certain degree, for Josh and Kathryn Morris, I was also their technical advisor. You guys will recognize this maybe. When we pick up a phone in our cubicle or home, we tend to pick a phone up and a pen up at the same time. You don't know what's coming, right? So it would be things like that or when the editor calls, I did this, I could be at home by myself and my editor would call and I would stand up as if he's in the room. That's what Josh does in the film as well.”
After four straight projects dealing with politics, Lurie’s latest film explores his other obsessive interest: sports. “Well, football, boxing and tennis are what I'm interested in. I don't care about anything else. If I cared about baseball or basketball as much as I do about football, I'd go broke. And I would be doing nothing else and I'm sure I would have been divorced a long time ago. So I really love watching football. Boxing, much more when I was growing up than right now.”
Still, Resurrecting the Champ is less about the sport than it is about the story of the boxer. “This was not a boxing film by any stretch of the imagination. We have some boxing scenes and they were really fun to do, fun to shoot but it clearly is a journalism movie. Politics is absolutely a sport. If it's the military or politics or journalism or boxing, I feel that I've got a pretty good handle on it. Anything else and I'm a dufus. I don't know anything.”
Resurrecting the Champ opens to theaters August 24th.
For the trailer, stills and more movie info, go to the Resurrecting the Champ Movie Page.