5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
In this inspiring biopic, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jeff Bauman, a man who lost his legs in the Boston Marathon bombings. The film follows Jeff’s amazing journey of recovery as he rebuilds his life.
SD: What did you know about Jeff Bauman going into the film?
JG: I had only seen a photograph of Jeff in the news. I then read the book after reading the screenplay. I never thought in a million years that our lives would have intersected in a way that they have. Now I know everything about him and his family.
SD: From what I can see, you guys are tight now?
JG: Yup, unfortunately for him, we are.
SD: How much time did you spend together before filming?
JG: About a year and a half, off and on. I would travel back and forth from New York to hang out with him. As we got closer to production, we set up camp here and I was here for about 6 months prior to filming. We would go out to dinner, hang out at Jeff’s house. Throughout all of it, we always texted to keep in touch.
SD: How did you prepare mentally and physically for this movie?
JG: In truth, I don’t think there is any real preparation. The experience that Jeff had was like being sucker punched. The process that Jeff went through in rehabilitation and even recovery, and I tried to learn everything I could about it. I tried to learn actually what it is like and what the surgeries were like. Where you get an understanding if not just from Jeff, but from everyone that is around him and the people that helped.
SD: How do you take a local story and make it globally successful?
JG: Every story is a local story. Boston is an inspiration. There is also a humanity to the story and the way the city fought back and also showed love and support to everyone affected. His story is about anyone who is struggling, anyone who is in a space that they don’t think can get out of it or for anyone who has lost something. We are all struggling or know someone who is struggling. That is why I think this story is for everyone.
Stronger opens in theatres this Friday, September 22nd.