Boston rolled out the red carpet for the private screening of Stronger at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The film is based on the inspiring book of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman's long road to recovery.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bauman at the Boston premiere of Stronger.
The star-studded evening included Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, director David Gordon Green, writer John Pollono, Lenny Clarke, Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. But the real star of the night was Jeff Bauman, who looked stylish in a suit and walked the carpet with Gyllenhaal.
Boston Common: What was your experience like playing this role and filming here in Boston? Jake Gyllenhaal: I don't think I could explain to you what my experience was in the very short period of time we have on this beautiful red carpet in this extraordinary place but it's somewhat similar to this experience of having the film premiere at Spaulding which kind of felt like a dream in a lot of ways. To think about the fact that we were shooting here and to think about the fact that Jeff was one of the first patients in his room and now there's a movie premiere here is a bit like a dream in a certain way. I would say it's inexplicable what it was like to shoot here and this story and to play him. It was a huge responsibility and a huge honor.
How does it feel to be here tonight at Spaulding and what was it like to see your life on the big screen? Jeff Bauman: It’s truly an honor to be here in this space for me and to be walking fine. I'm getting used to all of this, wearing pants and I feel great. I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for this place and the people that worked with me. Even though sometimes I didn't work as hard as I could have, I was going through some hard stuff. Watching the movie anywhere is nerve-racking.
Can you tell us about your experience playing this role based on the story of Erin Hurley which is very different from Orphan Black, a Sci-Fi thriller? Tatiana Maslany: This is a completely different world and getting to draw from the real events that happened and being able to speak with the people who were affected by it is like this whole other world of research and work and a responsibility. As an actor, it's a lot of delicate work to carry and I want to have done it justice and have represented this story well.
Being from New Hampshire did you feel the added pressure in writing this script? John Pollono: There was a lot more pressure because I knew if I messed it up that I’d never hear the end of it. It’s such a local story and it fueled me to make sure I brought my A-game and to put as much work as I possibly could into making something I knew everyone I grew up with would be proud of and not give me too much shit.
When I was fighting for this I said, you can't let anyone else do this or else they're just going mess it up and they won't get the nuance to really push it as far as it was. And I don't think any of us set out to make a–quote, unquote–uplifting story, we wanted to be truthful and the byproduct is what Jeff did is inherently uplifting but you have to be truthful to his story and not make stuff up and just tell it like it is which is amazing.
I'm so happy with the movie coming across as us New Englanders have this pitch black humor in the way we take the piss out of things. I was so happy everyone got it and they were on board because I don't know any other place that does that like that, that can make fun of a dude with no legs but at the same time love him to death.