The two actors who, respectively, portray former NFL running back Jim Brown and former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in the film now streaming only on Amazon - joined the Posted Up with Chris Haynes podcast to discuss their experiences with the roles and how the movie remains timeless for both today’s Black athlete and audiences alike.
ELI GOREE: We always felt like it was the most important story that we could be telling at that time. But then with everything else that's happened, obviously, it's just struck a chord in a totally different way.
ALDIS HODGE: We get to see them through the lens of their accomplishments. But they see each other through the lens of truth. So it's his brother to brother.
(SINGING) Oh. Oh.
CHRIS HAYNES: Everything that was going on while I was covering the NBA in the bubble there, everything that was going on in society, that movie just hit at that time, you know? It just--
ALDIS HODGE: Yeah.
CHRIS HAYNES: You know, because you guys talking about, what's the best way to use your platform? And that was back in the '60s.
ALDIS HODGE: Yeah.
CHRIS HAYNES: And that's something that we're still struggling with now.
ALDIS HODGE: And you have so many guys in the NBA who are actually doing just that, you know what I mean, who are using their platform in the best way possible. So I can only imagine how it may have touched on them particularly because it speaks very directly to their positioning, you know, huge, larger than live sports figures, still Black men, still dealing with Black in America, and asking questions on how they could use-- especially in the time frame of, you know, Andre Iguodala being in there at the forefront of let's put the names, let's put the Black Lives Matter, let's put the support on it.
You've got LeBron doing his thing, you know, his big presence and everything that he does in the community. You've got all these guys who are living this right now. So I can only imagine what their experience was when they watched it. Because they are this generation's version of that.
- That's right!
- Yes, Cassius Marcellus Clay is the new heavyweight champion of the world, boy!
- Yes, he is.
- And I don't even have a scratch on my face.
- Oh, my goodness.
- What's wrong, Cash?
- What, Cash, what--
- Why am I so pretty?
CHRIS HAYNES: What was the most difficult part of trying to live up to that role?
ELI GOREE: You know what, man? You work with athletes all the time. And I have athletes in my family. And they really-- they give everything they have to their sport, to the profession, and no one more so than the greatest of all time, you know, Cassius Clay. And I just-- I really wanted to honor that. You know what I mean? I really wanted to just give everything I had to to paying homage to him so that when people watched me in the ring, they could suspend disbelief and they could say, oh, for a moment, you could look like him, you know what I mean? I'm not really dodging punches. I'm not really moving around that fast at that size, but with-- you know, but with what we do, we could capture at least the essence of it. And so I worked really hard with Rob Sale who was the fight coordinator who did "Creed" I and II and who did the Claressa Shields story.
CHRIS HAYNES: Yep.
ELI GOREE: I worked really hard with my trainer, Kenneth Oh to bulk up and to have the right diet plan and to get the physique. You know, I worked with my dialect coach. We just really went in on making sure that we left no stone unturned to try and, you know, honor this man and what he brought to the world.
CHRIS HAYNES: You did a phenomenal job, everybody. I watched that film. And it felt like I was really watching--
ELI GOREE: Yeah, man, no low management, no low management.
CHRIS HAYNES: [LAUGHS]
ELI GOREE: [INAUDIBLE] We played every game, every play.
(SINGING) Oh. Oh.