With a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “Stronger” has the potential to rack up several Academy Award nominations. This Lionsgate release tells the true story of Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal), who lost both his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, becoming a symbol of hope and courage for a shaken city. Gold Derby recently spoke with stars Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany, plus makeup artist Donald Mowat, about their work on the David Gordon Green directed biopic.
“I wasn’t very interested in the historical part of the story,” divulges Gyllenhaal, an Oscar nominee for “Brokeback Mountain” (Supporting Actor in 2005). “I was interested in the human being who was affected by this seemingly unfathomable, impossible thing, and how they get through it.” He describes Bauman as “the most unlikely person to find himself in a situation like that.” Upon reading John Pollono‘s script, he was “initially surprised by his sense of humor.” When he eventually met Bauman, he found “that is the essence of who he is, that every time he comes up into any situation, he’s always facing [it] with a sense of humor.”
Emmy winner Maslany (Drama Actress for “Orphan Black” in 2016) plays Erin Hurley, Bauman’s on-again-off-again girlfriend who helps him overcome his personal and physical afflictions. “They’ve always sort of been in this tenuous place,” describes the actress of Erin and Jeff’s relationship, “and yet they have deep love for each other.” Most of their problems stem from Jeff’s inability to show up for Erin, and the one time he does – to watch her cross the finish line – it cost him his legs. “She’s having to reckon with the fact that he was there for her, with the fact that his life has changed inexorably because of this.”
“Working on ‘Stronger’ makes me want to cry a little bit because it’s so touching,” Mowat reveals. “Jeff Bauman is a real life hero to me, and Jake really gave it a lot of depth and character on this little movie with not a lot of money that we shot in Boston.”
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