â€śIâ€™ve always been a fan [of mixed martial arts],â€ť says James.Â â€śThe reason I wanted to do the movie is that I love the sport. I love the athletes; I think it’s great that they can fight and then, when itâ€™s over, they can hug, be buddies, grab a beer. And we came up with a story that I thought went well with that, one that showed how an ordinary guy could fit into that world.â€ť
To train for his role, James worked with a number of real MMA trainers who taught him each of the different disciplines he would need to show onscreen. â€śRyan Parsons, the filmâ€™s fight consultant, organized all of my training,â€ť James explains. â€śWe went with guys like Danny Perez, whoâ€™s a professional boxer; Mel Menor, a Thai kickboxer; and Jason Lambert, who also played my double in the movie.â€ť
â€śWe treated preparing for the movie as a fight camp,â€ť says Parsons. â€śKevin sparred with world champions in boxing and kickboxing. I mean heavy sparring â€” he had real experience. He dove in and treated it as if he was going to have an actual fight.â€ť
Perhaps Jamesâ€™ proudest moment during training was when he knocked out trainer Menor. â€śWe were working out in a hotel banquet room â€” we were on the road and that was the only place we could do it,â€ť James says. â€śWe were mixing it up and I went for a hip throw and I accidentally landed all my body weight on Mel. Heâ€™s a little smaller than me, and he went out for a second. It was an accident, but Iâ€™ll take the knockout.â€ť
Here Comes the BoomÂ is available starting Feb. 5 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
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