The battles between Roberto Durán and Sugar Ray Leonard were some of the most historic boxing matches of all time. The new film “Hands Of Stone” brings those battles to life. Deco’s Chris Van Vliet spent some time chatting with the stars of the film on Tuesday.
Spoiler alert: No one in this movie actually has hands made out of stone. Sorry! Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we chatted with Edgar Ramírez and Usher using some very complex satellite technology, and Usher tells me why boxing is a lot like dancing.
“Hands of Stone” is more than just a boxing movie. It’s the story of Roberto Durán’s rise from the slums of Panama to the Welterweight Championship.
Usher plays Sugar Ray Leonard, whose fights with Durán defined both men’s careers.
Usher: “These are icons, and this is an iconic film about an iconic experience.”
Usher and Edgar Ramírez didn’t just learn how to box for the film. The stars told Deco they had to learn how to box exactly like the boxers they were portraying.
Edgar Ramírez: “Usher was trained by Sugar. I was trained by Roberto Durán, so that somehow eased the pressure a little bit but increased the commitment.”
Every move in every fight sequence had to be choreographed, which might sound hard, but Usher knows a thing or two about choreography.
Usher: “But it did make it easier for me being a dancer and working as a hip-hop dancer in improvising, because boxing in its physical form is not much different than dancing in its physical form.”
And it wasn’t just physical.
Edgar Ramírez: “I think that your mind is sharper. It makes you think clearer, and that’s something that I feel very grateful for.”
So when you make a movie like “Hands of Stone,” you better be in good shape.
Edgar and Usher obviously were, and they’re glad there’s a record of it.
Edgar Ramírez: “Actually, it’s great to have it in a film.”
Usher: “Thank God. Thank God they brought the cameras. I can prove that I had it. Son, one day I’m gonna say, ‘So, it’s great that you have an eight-pack. I had one, too.'”
“Hands of Stone” punches its way to theaters on theaters on Friday. It also stars Robert De Niro, and this is his third boxing movie along with “Raging Bull” and, of course, “Grudge Match.”
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