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Look out for more coverage of
Pride in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Pride

THE STARS:
Terrence Howard • Bernie Mac • Kimberly Elise • Evan Ross • Kevin Phillips
DIRECTOR: Sunu Gonera

Terrence Howard stars as Jim Ellis THE CONCEPT:
Inspired by the life of Jim Ellis (Howard), a charismatic schoolteacher in the 1970s who changed lives forever by founding and coaching an African-American swim team in one of Philadelphia’s roughest neighborhoods.

U.S. RELEASE: March 23 2007, Nationwide • Rated: PG

THE COMMENTS:

TERRENCE HOWARD:
“I didn’t know about Jim Ellis’s work until I sat down with him in this little café in a little town in Philadelphia called Lafayette Hill. I had just come off a whole lot of Oscar stuff, and I was exhausted and tired of smiling, and Jim looked at me and in one moment he calmed my nature. He asked ‘Why do you want to play me?’ And I didn’t have an answer; the only thing I could say was because I felt my whole mood shift. He has the ability of subtle suggestion, and everyone who listens to him becomes susceptible to that. I wanted to know where that power comes from. And then after going and watching him coach, I still don’t know, perhaps it’s just the fact that he cares.”

BERNIE MAC (Elston):
“Doing a dramatic part was easy. A lot of people don’t know I started dramatic; comedy is something you all know I can do. I introduced myself with comedy, and once you’ve done that that’s where people keep you. But Miss Hunter in 4th grade started me in drama.”

KEVIN PHILLIPS (Andre):
“I didn’t know how to swim before the movie. I knew how to swim underwater but I didn’t know how to freestyle so, prior to the film, we had a month of training and in that month I learned how to swim and got into shape and was prepared to play Andre.”

EVAN ROSS (Reggie):
“I grew up swimming but I haven’t been trained so when we actually had that month of training, it was a struggle. Mostly, for me, it was about endurance, I was cramping up and I was tired. They pushed us to the limit, and I think we felt like we were on a team and it brought us all closer.”

HOWARD:
“I felt like I was training to be an astronaut or something like that, because I spent anywhere from 3,500 to 4,000 yards a day of swimming. To put that in perspective, it’s 25 yards across the pool, so you’re talking about 150 to 200 laps a day. Your shoulders are tired; your spirit is tired; you hate water. You’re wrinkled up like you’re 95 years old. It was hard.”

KIMBERLY ELISE (Sue Davis):
“Terrence is just such an extraordinary actor. He never makes the cliché choice. I love working with an actor who’s intelligent and creative.”

HOWARD:
“Jim Ellis is still fighting to build a suitable recreational facility where he can instruct students. One out of three African Americans can’t swim. Can you imagine being a parent and you can’t save your child if they fall into a pool? So I have a great deal of respect for this man.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Pride site
Images above © Lionsgate Films
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #681, April 2007 cover

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Ultimate DVD, March 2007 cover

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