Trivia / The Fighter

  • Career Resurrection: David O. Russell's first three films were relatively successful. But in 2004, he made I Heart Huckabees, which got mixed reviews, didn't make a profit, and Russell's difficult on-set behavior became more famous than the actual movie. His next project, Nailed, suffered from so much delay that production was shut down, because the crew was not getting paid. However, in 2010, Russell made The Fighter, which received critical acclaim, was a commercial success and brought him Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Picture. His next two films followed suit.
  • Cast the Expert: Richard Farrell, who plays one of the HBO camera men, is actually a director and news camera man himself. So he's essentially playing himself.
  • Disowned Adaptation:
    • The real Dicky Ecklund hated the portrayal of his mother and sisters in the film, one of the sisters walking out of a screening in protest.
    • According to Amy Adams, the real Charlene disliked the skimpy outfits she wore - as she did not dress that way in real life. She also didn't like being depicted as getting into a Cat Fight.
    • The real Micky on the other hand gave Mark Wahlberg the Approval of God.
  • Doing It for the Art: Both Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale worked for lower rates than usual, Wahlberg in particular waiving his own salary and taking no upfront fee for the film.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:
    • Christian Bale lost thirty pounds to play the crack addicted Dicky.
    • Mark Wahlberg trained for four years to be ready when the film eventually got made.
  • Fake American: Christian Bale as Dicky.
  • Method Acting: In true Christian Bale tradition, he stayed in character even when the cameras weren't running. This extended to Melissa Leo too.
  • Playing Against Type: Amy Adams is known for playing sweet-natured, playful, and at times quite glamorous heroines. Cue this film, where she's suddenly playing a tough broad who's filled with sass and not afraid to get into brawls herself. David O. Russell himself indicated that this was his whole intent behind casting Amy: to show her as most definitely "NOT a princess".
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • The man who rushes into the bar to say that Dicky is getting attacked by the police is Sean Eckland, Dicky's nephew in real life.
    • A cop who jokingly arrests the real Dicky at the end is played by the son of the officer who originally arrested him in real life.
  • Troubled Production: Amazingly averted. This only bears mention due to Christian Bale's bad temper and David O. Russell's infamous anger issues and attempts at violence.
  • What Could Have Been: Darren Aronofsky was originally attached to direct. He did remain on the film, serving as an executive producer. In a curious twist, David O. Russell wound up nominated for Best Director against Aronofsky (nominated for Black Swan) at the 2011 Academy Awards.
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