The Fighter (2010) Poster

(I) (2010)


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Dicky Eklund did not like how his mother and sisters were portrayed in the film. He yelled at Christian Bale after a screening in anger. His sisters also did not like their portrayals. Beaver Eklund walked out of a screening of the film in protest.
Christian Bale spent hours of time with the real Dicky Eklund to learn how to emulate him properly. He had to lose 30 pounds of weight because Eklund was a crack addict at the time. Director David O. Russell said it was much more than mimicry. He remarked: "Dicky has a rhythm to him, a music. Christian had to understand how his mind works."
Micky Ward's real life trainer Mickey O'Keefe was asked to appear as himself in the film, but turned the role down since he had never acted before. Mark Wahlberg told him he would be able to since he was a cop and therefore he has to act and think fast on his feet. This was convincing enough and he took the role.
Mark Wahlberg waived his own salary and took no upfront fee for this film. Christian Bale was paid only $250,000 for his role.
Christian Bale got involved when Mark Wahlberg asked him to take part in the movie. Wahlberg happened to know Bale through their daughters studying in the same elementary school.
Art Ramalho's gym is the actual Lowell West End Gym and not a set. This is in fact where Micky Ward trained and is still a functioning boxing gym to this day.
Shot in 33 days.
The young man who rushes into the restaurant to warn the Eklund-Ward family that Dicky is being beat up by the cops, is actually Sean Eklund, nephew of the real Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund and became New England Lightweight boxing champion in 2010.
Christian Bale reportedly lost weight to achieve the very thin frame of Dicky Eklund by eating very little. He even went missing for hours at a time in preparation for his role.
Mark Wahlberg began training for the role in 2005. Throughout the various production delays, Wahlberg continued to train every day so that he could be ready for filming. Filming finally began in July 2009.
Mark Wahlberg sent the script to Martin Scorsese hoping he would direct but Scorsese turned it down.
During an interview with George Lopez, the real Micky Ward claimed Dickey Eklund particularly disliked the scene where Christian Bale leaps into a dumpster. According to Eklund, he actually jumped from a higher floor, and there was no dumpster to catch him.
Matt Damon and Brad Pitt were previously attached to play Dicky Eklund, but the role went to Christian Bale, who went on to win an Academy Award. Before Bale's casting, Mark Wahlberg talked to rapper Eminem about taking the role, but Eminem ultimately declined to work more on his music.
Richard Farrell, who plays one of the HBO camera men in the film, is essentially playing himself. Farrell is a filmmaker and news camera man who directed the award-winning HBO documentary High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell (1995) about Dicky Eklund.
During the 2011 Academy Awards awards campaign, Melissa Leo financed and took out her own "For Your Consideration" ads for a Best Supporting Actress nomination; a first in Hollywood. The publicity move was viewed controversially among many industry insiders, but it ultimately paid off for Leo, who not only was nominated, but won the Oscar.
According to Bianca Hunter, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale stayed in character on the set even when they were not filming. Hunter also said that the real Pork Eklund was on the set and told Hunter that she did not like how she was being portrayed.
Cameras from the 1990s-era HBO were used to film the boxing matches and the documentary on Dicky Eklund's crack addiction.
Dicky Eklund's nickname was actually spelled "Dickie" in real life. Eklund requested for it to be spelled "Dicky" in the film so that it would match Micky Ward's name. After the release of the film, Eklund and his son, 'Dicky Eklund Jr' began using this spelling.
Having David O. Russell to direct the film was Christian Bale's suggestion. At first Mark Wahlberg was uncomfortable with calling his friend to do it after the harrowing experience of working in Three Kings (1999) but relented when Bale stated that he wanted to work with Russell.
Melissa Leo told David O. Russell that she was too young to play the mother of Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg's characters. Leo is 11 years Wahlberg's senior and 14 years Bale's senior.
According to Amy Adams, the real Charlene did not like the low-cut tops and short shorts that Adams wore in the film because she did not dress like that in real life.
Darren Aronofsky was previously attached to direct but left the production to work on Black Swan (2010).
Although Micky Ward is an orthodox boxer, Mark Wahlberg, who is left handed, portrays him as a southpaw.
In the film, Christian Bale plays Dicky Eklund, who is 7 years older than his half-brother Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg. In reality, Wahlberg is 3 years Bale's senior.
According to Micky Ward, he and Dicky Eklund were to have sizable cameos in a scene together. But Eklund disliked his lines and refused to say them so the scene was not filmed. Ward appears briefly as a spectator in the fight against Hernandez.
Both Catherine Hardwicke and Lexi Alexander wanted to direct the movie and were refused a meeting with the producers because they did not want a woman to direct.
Michael Fassbender auditioned for a role.
The black aviator sunglasses Christian Bale uses are actually owned by him and also used in The Dark Knight Rises.
After Martin Scorsese turned down the the directing job, Mark Wahlberg tried to interest Peter Berg to direct the film, but when Berg said "Nah," Wahlberg took Christian Bale's suggestion to hire David O. Russell, who accepted the job.
The big fight filmed in Lowell at The Tsongas Arena had over 200 "dummies" (props - not people) in the audience to help fill up the stands.
Major studios in Hollywood declined to finance this movie but because of Paramount's enthusiasm of the material, the studio executed a right of first refusal. The script then ended up at producer Ryan Kavanaugh who then reworked it to make it more accessible and family-friendly (Kavanaugh self-funded the $25 million movie including the marketing campaign). When it came to the distribution stage, Paramount beat three other studios in a bidding contest for video and theatrical distribution.
Christian Bale's Best Supporting Actor Oscar win is the middle of a three year run where that award went to an actor whose name begins with "Chris". Christoph Waltz won the year before for Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Christopher Plummer won the year after for Beginners (2010).
Emily Blunt turned down a role.
In the Italian version of the movie the voice of Christian Bale is dubbed by the actor Adriano Giannini, son of the actor Giancarlo Giannini.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The interviews in the beginning and the end were improvised by Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg, while in-character. They were done late night with only Bale, Wahlberg and director David O. Russell present. Bale actually became emotional and left the couch.
The police officer who jokingly arrests the real life Dicky Eklund at the end of the movie, during the credits, is actually Lowell police officer, Eric Wayne. Eric's father, Gerald Wayne, was the actual police officer who arrested the real life Dick Eklund after his robbery shenanigans in the early 1990s, which were depicted in The Fighter (2010). Dick Eklund and Gerald Wayne actually maintained a mutually friendly relationship before, during and after the arrest.
In the ending fight between Micky Ward and Shea Neary, announcer Jim Lampley says "Ward nods as if to say, 'C'mon, c'mon let's fight!... Just imagine if you'd bought a ticket" ... these two lines are taken directly from Lampley's commentary in the 9th round of the May 18th, 2002 fight between Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti.

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