Devon Graye & Danny Glover

*Danny Glover (Harry “Red” Newman) did not make it to the press day for “Legendary,” but in a statement he said:

“Rarely do you find a situation when you get a chance to work, and do the kind of work you think is transformative. I use the word ‘transformative’ in the sense that whenever a story is able to take a specific sport or situation and translate that into some sort of life-affirming context, then I think it is something you are proud to be a part of and an audience enjoys watching.”

Glover hits the nail on the head when it comes to “Legendary” because it is one of those feel good films where the bully gets him comeuppance, a family is reunited and lessons are learned. WWE champ John Cena (Mike Chetley) shared Glover’s sentiments.

“I just loved the story,” said. “I read it and called Mike [Pavone] right away and said, ‘I want to be a part of it,’ and I didn’t care which part. So I’m so glad that I got to play Mike but when I sat down and read something cover to cover, which is a very rare occurrence for me – I’m not much of a reader – I knew that I had to be a part of it. I knew that I could relate to any piece of the story. I was just happy with the read. The script had been in circulation for like fifteen years. It wasn’t like it was written for me but I just knew that I wanted to do it.”

Whether onscreen or off, education is key, which Cena affirmed.

“I think the sports entertainment element will always be here since it’s been around since the turn of the 1900’s. But I stress to everyone, especially kids in high school that education should be first. I’m a college graduate and I had a very prolific football career. I was the team captain; all American and sports entertainment wasn’t really my first choice. I really wanted to play football, but I knew about my size and my ability that I was destined to play in college and that was it. It wasn’t until after I received my education that I seriously looked at sports entertainment as a way to make a career for myself. And they’ve got to take it in stride. It’s very much like acting or playing professional sports. One percent of one percent of the people that try out for it can actually say that they make their living off of it. If you’re more prepared to tackle life after wrestling, it’ll actually better your career.”

With that in mind, Cena is now tackling rapping.

“I’m toying around with the idea,” he laughs. “I really wanted to help the movie as much as I could. In the WWE we have millions of people following us globally and the movie will be released all over the place. So when they asked me to do a score for the movie, I knew just from a marketing perspective that we could get it out to the WWE people. I think the track fit unbelievably well in the movie. It gets me fired up every time I hear it. Who knows, I may be toying around with the idea of coming out with some more stuff.”

John Cena

The cast of “The Romantics” was in town and The Film Strip caught up with them. With so many crass, mindless comedies out, I wanted to know Katie Holmes and Josh Duhamel’s initial reaction when presented a script that did not entail the typical trash pedaled as entertainment? Katie whispered into Josh’s ear, “Josh, you go first.” Without hesitating, he gave an honest, heartfelt answer.

“I didn’t like it at first (laughs). I didn’t because when I first read the script I was like, ‘I don’t like any of these characters.’ I really didn’t. I mean  when you really look at it, I felt like they’re just a bunch of selfish people who were making much bigger deals of their problems than they really were.

“But then I read the script again and I liked it much better because I felt like it’s really kind of a reflection on what people are anyway and what friends are like, what families are like because we’re all dysfunctional. We’re all messed up in some way and we’re all flawed, believe me, and I think that that’s what drew me to it ultimately. It was the imperfection of all these people and these people that were just trying to make it work. I got a group of friends that I’ve had for a long time and we’re equally as dysfunctional.  We’re not making out with each others’ wives but I think everybody can sort of relate to the imperfections of these characters in some way.”

“I loved this when I read it and I loved the feeling,” Katie offered. “To me it felt a lot like ‘The Bill Chill’ and ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ and I thought and also a little bit of a John Hughes feeling and I always loved those movies growing up.” All grown up and married to Tom Cruise, Holmes revealed what keeps the fires burning. “Tom  has red roses for me everywhere I go whenever we travel.”