Hands of Stone: Exclusive Interview With Lead Actor and Director
As part of Latino Lens in Focus, NALIP interviews 'Hands of Stone' lead actor Edgar Ramirez, where he highlights his preparation for the role of Roberto Duran, the challenges he's had to overcome as an actor and the importance of Latino films and filmmakers in the industry.
Q: How did you prepare to play not only a real life personality, but also someone who is still alive? How much input did Roberto Duran have in his character's portrayal?
A: [Roberto Duran] Influenced me in a great way. He trained me, he shared a lot of things with me. The thing is a lot of boxers in general are like magicians, they have their tricks and they have a certain things that they will never reveal. And by not revealing those tricks I learned so much about him. Roberto was very open, was very generous, he trained me, he helped and opened his home to me, opened his heart, and his life. Sometimes there were certain areas, certain questions that he didn’t answer in a straight way which actually informed me about the mystery that every boxer had and that was very important to me. Now when I look back at the process and I remember asking certain things and trying to not to let himself be pushed against the ropes I love that because it helped me to understand how his mind works. He trained me, he said “you need to become a boxer first, you need to feel that you’re a boxer and then when you’re ready I will teach you all the tricks, I will teach you the magic” and he did and I’m very grateful for that.
As part of Latino Lens in Focus, NALIP interviews 'Hands of Stone' Director Jonathan Jakubowicz, where he goes into detail about the challenges of directing a biopic, connecting with all Latino audiences and working with such a talented team that included Venezuelan lead actor Edgar Ramirez, legendary actor Robert De Niro and music superstar Usher.
Q: How is writing and directing a biopic different from what you are used to and how is it still familiar to films you are accustomed to?
A: When you are doing a movie about legendary characters whose greatest achievements were seen by the whole world and can still be seen online, the pressure is bigger. We worked really hard to replicate the fights with extreme attention to detail and every move you see in the ring is a move that happened in real life.