Watch the whole thing HERE!
Posts Tagged ‘John du Pont’
“I think I can comfortably say we were all very happy when the movie was over,” says Channing Tatum of making the crime drama Foxcatcher.
Based on a true story, the movie begins with former Olympian Mark Schultz, played by Tatum, training to regain the glory of his past achievements. When he accepts multi-millionaire John du Pont’s (Steve Carell) offer of sponsorship he begins a journey that will end in world championship glory and murder.
Director Bennett Miller wanted Foxcatcher to be the follow-up to his Oscar winning biopic Capote. When he first approached Tatum to play Schultz the muscle bound actor was best known as the eye candy in teen comedies like She’s the Man and dance movies like Step Up.
“I think the first time I read the script I just didn’t understand why you’d want to make the film,” he says. “There’s no resolve to any of this. No lesson learned. It’s way more complicated than that. It’s actually more close to life. It is a portrait of something that happened. I don’t think I was anywhere near to understanding the story or the character. I think I did a lot of growing in those seven years. I fell in love with this idea of attempting this.”
The actor threw himself into the role, studying wrestling, which he says is impossible to fake on screen—“It is just a melee but you get used to being inside that melee.”—and even destroying a hotel room in one powerful scene.
“I told them, ‘Whatever is in that room probably won’t come out not broken.’ That is all from Mark Schultz. He told me he would punish himself so badly after losing that he would make losing so much worse than any physical pain he was going through in the match so he would never want to lose again.”
He kept up that level of intensity for the whole shoot. “It just never stopped,” he said, not even when his wife, actress Jenna Dewan, came to visit.
“My wife was pregnant and she came to Pittsburgh during [the shoot],” he says. “She was supposed to stay a week but left after the second day. She was like, ‘Nope. It is not healthy for me to be here. You’re in a weird place. It’s OK but I’m just going to go now. Love you! Call me at least once a night before you go to bed and we’ll be fine.’”
Watch the whole thing HERE!
If nothing g else “Foxcatcher,” a true-life crime drama from Bennett Miller, director of “Moneyball,” is an exercise in the transformative nature of an under bite. Jutting out his jaw changes Channing Tatum from movie star handsome to thick-necked gym rat Mark Schultz, one third of a story of murder and America’s wealthiest family.
Based on true events, the story begins with Schultz, a gold medal-winning wrestler at the 1984 Olympics, training with his brother David (Mark Ruffalo) to regain the glory of his past achievements. Out of the blue he is contacted by John du Pont (Steve Carell), multi-millionaire and sports enthusiast with a simple but grand offer. The patriotic du Pont asks Schultz to put together a team of wrestlers, who would train at a special facility at Foxcatcher Farms and establish America’s dominance at the upcoming Seoul Olympics. Schultz signs for $25,000 a year–“I just said the highest number in my head.”—beginning a journey that will end in world championship glory and murder.
Even though this is a true story that more or less follows the public record of events I’ve left the synopsis vague so as not to spoil the film’s climax. In doing so I also failed to mention the growing sense of alienation and the slow burn of psychological dysfunction. A pall hangs over the entire film, building toward the culmination of the action that is shocking not only in its randomness, but in its volume. Miller has made a quiet, restrained film, one that demands the viewer to lean forward to appreciate, so when three loud gunshots ring out they shatter the quiet in a jarringly effective depiction of violence.
But for as effective as that scene is, the build-up is demands patience. The leads are uniformly great—particularly Carell who, as a repressed man used to getting what he wants and winning, whether it is a world championship title or play wrestling at a party, hands in a career re-defining performance—but the studied precision of the direction bogs down the pacing. If Miller edited the VERY long pauses in the conversations between Mark and John he could have trimmed half-an-hour from the running time. Some will find the start-and-stop delivery adds to the film’s surreal feel, other will simply find it tedious.
“Foxcatcher” is buoyed by interesting, unexpected performances and an unnerving tone but adds little to the examination of the complex issues that lie at the center of the story. Unchecked privilege and moral decadence are on display but the underlying pathology of the piece remains a mystery.