Researching His Role: You get a movie at this level thats got such historic roots, they send you - usually before you even ask for it - a research packet that says everything about it, clippings and stuff. I did all my research and I get there for a script meeting with Akiva [Goldsman], Russell [Crowe], Ron [Howard] and Paul [Giamatti] and we decide what of this thats historical is useful. And anything thats not useful, no matter how historical it is, you dont bother with unless its critically important to the story youre telling. Because its not the story of Jimmy Johnston, hes a piece of the puzzle. When youre telling a story to a modern audience, you root it in history. You take history but then you ask what works now for our audiences?
Bruce McGill on Why Weve Forgotten the Story of Jim Braddock: Because he was such a retiring, shy guy, he had his moment and then he got so whooped by Joe Louis, and no one is going to whoop Joe Louis for years. He just went off and worked and stopped [boxing]. He wasnt a big blow-your-own-horn guy. But you know what? Theyll know who he is now. He is the Seabiscuit of boxers. The underdog and all that. I hope this has some of that feel. In shooting it it had some of that feel.
I thought Seabiscuit was heartwarming and wonderful. And I felt, although I was all business in this I was strictly business but thats me playing the role. But me being around the material and the people, its just a really wonderful humanity stew.
On Audiences in 2005 Connecting with this Depression Era Tale: Hopefully they will because its just riveting and they want to know about this guy and theyre compelled. We already know they think Russell is interesting. We already know that they appreciate Ron Howards storytelling abilities. We already know that they think Renee Zellweger's a bell-ringer. And you put on that all these people coming together and doing their damndest all day every day for years to tell this story as well as they can. You dont worry about how [the audience] is today. You just give them the best story. If the story interests us, were human, then it will interest them. That usually is the case, although Ive been in great films that found no audience. If I could figure that out, I would be a corner office, Madison Ave, helicopter, Donald Trump guy.
The Oscar Buzz and Releasing Cinderella Man in June: I wouldnt be surprised to hear of a re-release or at least a strong PR campaign. But these big movies, youre looking at who do you want to compete against and we better get this out. We shot this quite a while ago and it sat around for whatever reasons. I think Russell was unavailable to do the press in March when they thought about releasing it, which would have been really early. But I know when they first saw it they wanted to get it out before Christmas last year, which was really difficult. But I think excellence will out. I know that Oscars and stuff is really important to the selling of tickets and all, but Im a member of the Academy and I try to take it seriously. I see the films again if Ive seen them back in June and take it seriously. And I have to believe that and I just hope that audiences love it. Its like Rocky but with more heart.