Liev Schreiber found it hard to see on the set of boxing drama Chuck after taking 800 punches.
In the boxing flick, previously titled The Bleeder, Liev plays real-life fighter Chuck Wepner, who fought Muhammad Ali at the peak of his career but then spiraled into a life of alcohol and cocaine, and spent time in prison for drug dealing.
To make the boxing scenes credible, Liev decided to do the fights himself, and he was left with hazy vision after receiving 800 blows during the shoot.
“By the end of the fourth day of shooting, I wasn’t seeing so good, but I think it was worth it,” he smiled to New York Daily News.
It wasn’t the boxing scenes that initially drew the actor to the project though. Despite being one of the inspirations for Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa, it was actually the human story behind Chuck’s rise to fame and subsequent fall from grace that Liev tapped into.
“What really grabbed me about Chuck was the pitfall of celebrity and fame,” he shared. “His was a kind of cautionary tale about the dangers of that particular kind of narcissism – the desire to be loved by the anonymous mob and not the individuals to whom we are truly connected, which is something I think a lot of people can relate to.
“The minute we start to believe that lie that we’re the most interesting person in the room, we’re done for. Chuck finds that out in a really painful way.”
Chuck hits cinemas from Friday (05May17) and co-stars Liev’s ex-partner Naomi Watts, Elisabeth Moss and Ron Perlman.