Miles Teller (Whiplash) spoke to Empire magazine recently about his upcoming boxing biopic Bleed For This.
"I did a bit of kickboxing in high school," Teller told Empire, "but boxing is super hard, man. The work, the timing, the distance control. It's all very exposing. It's just you." Luckily for Teller, Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street), who is executive producer on the film, delivered a letter of support prior to filming. "It was on his letterhead and typed on an old typewriter," Teller continues. "It said, 'To play the part of Vinny you are going to have to show hard work and perseverance, and I know that you are the right guy for this job.' For him to reach out to me was something."
Bleed For This tells the true life tale of junior middleweight champion boxer Vinny Pazienza, whose career ended abruptly after breaking his neck in a car crash. However, Pazienza wasn't going to let that stop him, retraining against all medical advice.
"It was by far the toughest thing I've ever done," says Teller. "If I am super nervous about doing something, as I was with Vinny, I would rather me have the opportunity to mess it up than somebody else. I only had maybe a month with my boxing trainer. You don’t become a professional anything in a month if you've never done it before. It was a lot of trust and practice, motivated by fear."
Bleed For This is released in cinemas on 2 December.