Bleed for This
, a film documenting local boxer Vinny Paz’s recovery from a neck injury, premieres next month. In advance of the premiere, Motif
contributor and friend of the Pazman, Mike Messier, interviewed him.
Mike Messier: A Vinny Paz feature film has been speculated about for years. The general movie goer does not realize the money, patience and time needed to get a feature film actually produced. So when Verdi Productions went into collaboration with Martin Scorsese, how did you feel? And when the movie actually started filming, how did that feel?
Vinny Paz: When they got Scorsese involved, everything started happening. It was a domino effect — Scorsese started knocking down everything. We have the greatest actors, one of the greatest directors, Ben Younger — he’s a tremendous director, and the best producers in the business of all time: Scorsese, Bruce Cohen, Pamela Tur-Weir. It’s amazing, what type of people are involved in my movie.
MM: You and I saw Whiplash together, a film that starred Miles Teller, that was a big hit. When you saw Whiplash, how did that make you feel about Miles playing you?
VP: That iced it, I knew he could do it. Miles is without a doubt the best on the block today.
MM: As your friend, I have experienced that people in the community will come up to you quite a bit and share a memory of your career or of having met you before. I’ve been amazed that you remember quite a bit about each person’s own life, including his or her name, profession and where you’ve met. This ability is in sharp contrast to many other athletes who are having problems with concussions with brain trauma after their careers in hard-hitting sports. Is this just good fortune, or is their any method or precautions you’ve taken to keep your mind steady?
VP: Mike, it’s good fortune, and I’m amazed, too.
MM: From what I understand, Bleed for This is very accurate to your history, but due to time constraints, like all films, there may be some editing of events to tell your whole life story in just a two-hour film. Is there any part of your life that you’d like to see more of, in a possible Bleed for This sequel, if there were ever to be one?
VP: I think there’s going to be a sequel because I think there’s going to be a great reaction. It’s so good; everybody did a great job. I just think it’s incredible. I’m really happy with what happened. Chad Verdi ended up getting Scorsese involved through an introduction from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. You can only do so much in a two-hour movie about somebody; there’s so many years of crazy things that happened to me. I was the Pazmanian Devil and that comes with a lot of wild stuff on the side.