After a near-fatal car accident left him nursing a crippling spinal injury, few would have predicted that Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza would walk again let alone climb into the ring. Low and behold though, 13 months after that brush with death, Pazienza returned and indeed defeated WBC World Jr. Middleweight Champion Luis Santana in what is widely considered to be one of the best comeback stories in boxing history.
Open Road Films has now brought that inspired underdog story to the masses in the form of Bleed For This, a starry boxing drama that has Miles Teller don the gloves as The Pazmanian Devil, whose sheer will and unflappable determination makes this very risky decision all the more compelling to watch on screen.
Pazienza knows no other way to be, and so elicits the help of his trainer, Kevin Rooney (portrayed by an almost unrecognizable Aaron Eckhart), to help keep him in shape as he recovers, and then train him to return to the ring 13 months after his accident to win a new championship.
In his review of the movie coming out of TIFF, our very own Matt Donato had the following to say about it:
Bleed For This takes its lumps and earns its respect like a good boxing drama should.
At the recent press day for the film, we sat down with Eckhart to talk about the appeal of boxing movies, how he transformed for the role and more. Hear what he had to say in the video up above and be sure to catch Bleed For This when you get a chance, as it’s now in theatres nationwide.
For more on the film, you can also take a look at our interview with Miles Teller.