PRESS STATEMENT FROM WARNER BROS., published as is:
Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential) stars in Warner Bros. Pictures' new comedy Grudge Match as Sally Rose, whose history with retired heavyweight boxers Razor (Sylvester Stallone) and Kid (Robert De Niro) changed all of their lives.
In Grudge Match, Billy “The Kid” McDonnen and Henry “Razor” Sharp are two local Pittsburgh fighters whose fierce rivalry put them in the national spotlight. Each had scored a victory against the other during their heyday, but in 1983, on the eve of their decisive third match, Razor suddenly announced his retirement, refusing to explain why but effectively delivering a knock-out punch to both their careers. Thirty years later, a boxing promoter, seeing big dollar signs, makes them an offer they can’t refuse: to re-enter the ring and settle the score once and for all.
Once the love of Razor’s life, Sally re-enters the scene when news of the rematch breaks.
Interestingly, Stallone knew Basinger from a gym where they both worked with the same trainer. Stallone says the two had been looking for a project to do together and suggested her to director Peter Segal and the producers, who agreed.
“She was perfect for the role,” says producer Bill Gerber. “It was one of those things where we cast her, but hadn’t really seen her together with Stallone. One day we were doing some camera tests and both Kim and Sly were there, so we decided to get them together and see…And when they walked in and everybody was standing there, it was wow! They looked like a fantastic couple.”
Segal admits when he met Basinger to discuss her role in Grudge Match, it was the fulfillment of a long-held crush. “She is still so absolutely stunning,” he says, “and she was so great because she wanted to come and play in the sandbox. She hadn’t done a comedy in a long time and she wanted to let her hair down.”
Basinger seemed to enjoy the spontaneity and fun Segal encouraged. He relates, “She said, ‘It’s wonderful for me when people just tell me what they want. Tell me what you want and I’ll do it.’ So as soon as I knew that, we had a ball. Because we could just play, we could try things, throwing jokes at her, taking things away, giving her other things. Whatever it was, she was a great sport.”
When asked how was that working with Stallone and De Niro, Basinger says, “It was quite a ride because they work very differently. And they’re both hilarious. So I had a really great experience with them. It was great. Stallone’s a jokester. Di Niro’s quiet and sneaky. [laughs] So just different layers.”
On a more serious note, Basinger shares what she took away from the experience working with her costars. “You learn from every experience, and you take a lot from that. No one knows everything and it’s always a new camera and a new day. The first day of shooting is always the first day of school. So you’re a little nervous. If I wasn’t nervous I would quit. That’s the excitement of it. But, yeah, to work with all these people, you always learn from everyone, and you take it.”
Kim Basinger starred opposite Robert Redford in Barry Levinson’s The Natural, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for her supporting role, and has appeared in more than 40 feature films, earning an Academy Award® in 1998 for her role in the critically acclaimed film L.A. Confidential. Based on the James Ellroy classic crime novel of the same title, the film, directed by Curtis Hanson, earned nine Academy Award® nominations. Basinger also received a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award® (SAG), as well as a BAFTA Award nomination.
Basinger will next appear in The Third Person, written and directed by Paul Haggis and co-starring Liam Neeson and Maria Bello, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year.
In 2014, she will star in Unborn, in which she plays the role of a successful career woman who cannot have children. Produced by Lars Von Trier and written and directed by Anders Morgenthaler, the film also stars Peter Stormare, Jordan Prentice and German actors Sebastian Schipper and Sophie Rois.
Opening across the Philippines in January 15, 2014, Grudge Match will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
Kim Basinger, torn between two boxers in Grudge Match
January 1, 2014