The former interpreter of Lance Armstrong will this time play the boxer Harry Haft, survivor of the Holocaust.
After delivering a daunting performance on Lance Armstrong’s bike, for Stephen Frears’ film, The Program, Ben Foster returns this week with a stunning new incarnation, that of Polish boxer Harry Haft in the HBO film The Survivor (released this April 27 in the USA).
In this biopic by Barry Levinson, he puts himself in the shoes of this Auschwitz survivor, who boxed other prisoners at the request of the Nazis, to escape hell. After the release, he will turn professional until facing the legend Rocky Marciano…
“When I read the script, I found this story terribly moving. Then you wonder how we are going to do this… First, the production told me that we were going to use digital effects to make Harry bigger, for his weight loss, for his weight gain… but actually I needed to lose some myself to play this character Luckily Barry and the production accepted that and we could rotate in order”, says Ben Foster in variety.
“So I lost almost 30 kilos to shoot the sequences in the concentration camp. Then we took five weeks off and I gained 40 kilos to get into the ring in a credible way. Finally, the last section of the film was that of the last decade and I was able to let myself go. It is rare that an actor can thus follow the course of a man (…) I could not have looked at myself in the mirror if I had filmed these scenes in the camps, without showing a credible version of thinness. We see the documentaries, you see the photos, these are things you don’t forget… So it was an opportunity to see what I could do and I wanted to see how far I could go…”
Ben Foster admits that this method of acting is not really recommendable, but he defends: “Every person is different and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to do this. It’s not something I would encourage doing. But it was a luxury for me, because I could choose to do it!”
The Survivoralso starring Peter Sarsgaard, John Leguizamo and Danny DeVito, does not yet have a date in France.