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Look out for more coverage of
Annapolis in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Annapolis

THE STARS:
James Franco • Tyrese Gibson • Jordana Brewster
DIRECTOR: Justin Lin

James Franco and Tyrese Gibson THE CONCEPT:
Jake Huard (Franco) enters the Naval Academy and decides to train for the legendary Navy boxing competition known as the Brigade Championships

U.S. RELEASE: January 27 2006, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

JAMES FRANCO:
“I’d never boxed before this film, and I didn’t know much about it, but I had about six months before we started filming. The bar for boxing films is pretty high, so I felt I’d better just go every day and keep myself from being embarrassed. I went to a gym called the Wild Card in Hollywood. It’s one of the best in the country, and I asked them to train me the way they would a real fighter, and they got me in pretty good shape.”

JORDANA BREWSTER (Midshipman Ali):
“When I read the script the thing I was the most afraid of was the boxing aspect. Originally, I was supposed to be the Golden Gloves champion and I thought that was a little unrealistic, and then James and I talked with Justin and we changed the script a little bit. I chose never to really tackle the issue of being a girl at the Academy because I feel everyone who goes there is a plebe, and your life is going to be a living hell. I didn’t want my character to think of herself as inferior. So I just wanted her to regard herself as an equal.”

TYRESE GIBSON (Commander Lt Cole):
“My training for Annapolis was the hardest I’ve ever done because it went from physical training to mental training, and dealing with a lot of tension on the set between me and James and other characters. James is full on, he’s that character. I respect that, because you have to do what needs to be done to get through it. But to date, Annapolis was the most difficult film I’ve ever worked on hands down.”

FRANCO:
“The boot camp for a movie really helps. A lot of research I do on movies ends up being reading and studying, so when you have a situation where someone who knows what that world is can assist you, it can’t help but make the performance more realistic. We had an Annapolis graduate who could not only tell us what it’s like, and mentally prepare us, but actually put us through the physical paces.”

GIBSON:
“One of the guys who did a lot of consulting on the film was from Annapolis so he brought that real level of reality of the military to us. When you are jogging in a group, all of your left and right legs have to match. You have to run in order. He brought that realness to us. It was incredible.”

BREWSTER:
“I was lucky in that I was an upper classman and didn’t have to participate in the drills, the running, the sit-ups and the push-ups. I got to bark orders. My worry was the form with the boxing. I wanted to make it look good for the camera, and our stunt coordinator helped me with that.”

FRANCO:
“I don’t know if I stay in character much, I didn’t pretend that I was in the Navy or anything. But I did a movie in my early career with Robert De Niro, and I watched him every day, and he had an approach where when the camera is rolling he’d give it his all, and then when they said cut, he’d keep to himself and stay focused, and that’s what I do, so any interaction I have with other actors on camera will be fresh.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Annapolis site
Images above © Touchstone Pictures
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #667, March 2006 cover

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