Dramas inspired by real-life events are the ones to watch this weekend. In the latest episode of Made in Hollywood, we speak to the people who helped bring to the big screen inspiring stories.
Aaron Eckhart tells us that “My All-American” isn’t just another sports movie. “This is about people, humanity and adversity,” the actor who portrays University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal.
In the drama he recruits athlete Freddie Steinmark, played by Finn Wittrock, who won a national championship with the Texas Longhorns in 1969 while playing on a painful leg in what was dubbed the “Game of the Century.” One week later Steinmark’s leg was amputated above the hip after X-rays revealed a bone tumor above his left knee.
Eckhart says honoring Steinmark’s legacy was “scary” and a “big responsibility.” The film is adapted from the memoir “Courage Beyond the Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story.”
It was only five years ago in 2010 that the world watched an international rescue effort of 33 Chilean miners trapped – seemingly buried alive – 200 stories below ground after an explosion and collapse of a gold and copper mine.
The drama, politics and desperation surrounding the catastrophe that lasted 69 days comes to the big screen in “The 33,” starring Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, and Lou Diamond Phillips. “It was a tough environment to work in,” Banderas, who plays rescued miner Mario Sepulveda, tells Made in Hollywood of the filming conditions to re-create the disaster. “We were breathing methane glass.” The star adds that he shouldn’t “complain” because, unlike the real miners, he got to go home at night. “It’s the life of millions of miners around the world.”
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe reporting team who exposed the Catholic Church’s past sex abuse cover-ups were surprised to learn that the scandal would be brought to life in the Oscar-buzzed “Spotlight.”
“We never thought it could be an interesting movie,” journalist Sacha Pfeiffer, sitting alongside her former teams, tells Made in Hollywood. She calls it “a lovely tribute to journalism.”
In the film she’s played by Rachel McAdams, who stars opposite Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, John Slattery and Brian d’Arcy James. Pfeiffer said it was a “surreal” experience to have the star-studded cast invest so much effort into their performance. “Dinners, walks, talks, emails, phone calls—visiting our homes,” she said of their research. “Many of them never played a real person before and they viewed that as an acting challenge.”
“My All-American,” “The 33” and “Spotlight” are in theaters now.