To have all those people in ways that you see the mistakes they’re making, but you still love them, and can laugh at them but still have them break your heart, that’s to me the movie.
INTERVIEW – DAVID O’RUSSELL (Director – The Fighter)
Q: What is the movie about?
DOR: Bleach blonde mother with seven bleach blonde sisters who all form a gang, and they train two brothers, one who used to be a star locally, who’s become a criminal, the other who’s trained by the older brother and the mother who wants to rise up. The red headed bar tender who’s sexy comes in and everybody reacts to that big time, that’s Amy Adams, she comes in and says to the younger brother, you need a better way and he says “how can you say that about my family!”, and there’s the movie. To have all those people in ways that you see the mistakes they’re making, but you still love them, and can laugh at them but still have them break your heart, that’s to me the movie.
Q: What made you want to make a movie based on this family?
DOR: The brothers, with this crazy dynamic of older brother, younger brother, and they are both fighters and they have this really crazy relationship and the older brother almost seems to be the favourite of the mother. All that made me want to do it.
Q: What do you make of the way the actors went about portraying their characters?
DOR: Every actor works differently you know, so it was really an honour and very humbling to be able to work with this variety of actors. Mark is sort of more from the Spencer Tracy school, “acting’s good, don’t let them catch you doing it”, so he is going to do the subtle performance, that is the guy who’s the centre of the storm, who’s reacting to the storm and emotionally anchoring the movie. Spinning around him is the asteroid of Christian Bale, at the other end of the spectrum completely! He inhaled the character of Dicky, he lost 30 pounds, he shaved his head so he had a bald spot, put these horrible teeth in, and become this chaos maker who’s charming and talented and bedevilling. Then Amy Adams breaks type, she shows up to break type saying “you know I don’t want to be enchanted in this one, I want to be the girl who can throw a punch”, and that girl Charlene did throw a punch with the sisters and she did know how to stick up for herself and she helps Micky stick up for himself in his life, he needed a little help against all the odds in the family. Melissa Leo is the mother who always fought for the fact that listen I see how this movie is portraying me, as a little bit like the mother’s making all the bad mistakes but I also want to be the mother who loved all her children, nine children and Mark comes from the same family, nine children, so Melissa fought for that. So that makes you love the characters, to me that’s what matters.
Q: What did you think Mark brings to the role of Micky?
DOR: Mark trained for as many years to want to fight like Micky, and to look real is a huge accomplishment, but in addition to that, to be like what he is like in his own family. Mark Wahlberg is in his own family of nine children from a working class background and he also had to deal with an with an older brother, Donnie Wahlberg, who was the favourite of the mother and who was the first successful one. I mean the parallels are kind of amazing. So this is an even more intense version of that, where he came equipped knowing what it’s like to have this brother who’s your hero, who’s your ticket to the world who has to train you, in this case to fight, but who also is kind of being destructive and then tearing you down. So that’s what Mark brings to it.
For the Full Interview be sure to check out the next issue of Click, available week of the 7th February.