Actor Liev Schreiber puts on a powerful performance as a real-life boxer in the new biopic “Chuck.”
Schreiber leads the new indie film as Chuck Wepner, the underdog boxer said to have inspired “Rocky” after his famous 1975 bout with Muhammad Ali, but the actor calls it less of a boxing movie and more a personal story.
"I think it's a cautionary tale about celebrity and fame that I was interested in," he said. "I think once I had kids and I saw my kids kind of being at once sort of a little nervous and excited by the cameras and the people stopping their daddy in the street, I got worried. If I'm honest, I got worried they might not learn to look at the world with as much wonder and newness as perhaps the world looked at me or them."
There is boxing involved, though, so it's a good thing he has some skills.
"I'm a terrible boxer, but I'm very, very good at receiving punches on my face, and Pooch Hall is really good at giving them so it kind of worked out perfectly for this film," Schreiber said.
He is a producer of the film, too, and says he's grateful to Sylvester Stallone for speaking with him as they were putting it together.
"He told me a lot about his own process as an artist developing the story of Rocky and his relationship to Chuck,” Schreiber said. “And I think there's a lot of that in this film that people will be surprised by that how much interaction there was between Chuck and Sylvester Stallone over the course of those couple of years when the movie first came out and before they made the sequel.
MORE's executive producer Janie Rios screened "Chuck" over the weekend. She said that just like Stallone brought “Rocky” to life on the big screen, Schreiber did an amazing job bringing the real story of "Chuck" to life.
While the film is star-studded, with Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman and Jim Gaffigan in supporting roles, Janie sees why there's a lot of buzz around Schreiber's performance, saying he steals the show.
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