ACTOR CHRIS VICTOR PLAYS BOXING REFEREE IN THE UPCOMING BOXING MOVIE “BACK IN THE DAY”
Photo courtesy of Chris Victor
Boxing seems to be taking off on network TV, in the cinemas, ppv’s and short films. And we now have another movie to be released soon entitled “Back in the Day”. According to the IMDB website some of the cast includes William DeMeo, Paul Borghese, Danny Glover, Alec Baldwin, Shannen Doherty and for those of you who know boxing, Mike Tyson, Roy Jones, Jr. and Larry Merchant and Connecticut Hall of Fame referee Danny Schiavone also mentioned to me he was casted in the film.
I was thankful to actor Chris Victor ( http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2667922/ ), who plays the 3rd man in the ring, as the role of a referee, to answer a few tiny questions that I presented to him.
Pattee Mak: Congrats on having a role in “Back in the Day”. Tell me real quick about the movie.
Victor: Thank you Pattee. It was a real honor to be in this film especially since it shows how Brooklyn was BACK IN THE DAY when and where I grew up. This film has a real good feel to it and at the same time it brings you on an emotional roller coaster as if you’re actually living this experience. Picture if you would to take the feelings you got from films like: The Bronx Tale, Rocky, Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Casino. Then, you will know how you will feel when watching "BACK IN THE DAY", May 20, 2016.
Pattee Mak: You mentioned to me that you are playing the role of a referee. How did your role in this movie come about? Was it as a result of a casting call?
Victor: I was originally casted as a spectator in the Main Fight between William DeMeo and Brian Patrick Murphy. But, once they found out that I had referee experience in my past... I was then upgraded to principle referee #4 in the Big Fight.
Pattee Mak: Talk about being at the right place at the right time.
Pattee Mak: Was it easy for you to get into your role since you have some previous experience refereeing?
Victor: Yes. As I started to mention on the last question. I had started both my martial arts and boxing training at the young age of 12. Because "BACK IN THE DAY" there were Bully's too! So, this was more of a survival skill growing up in Bensonhurst/BathBeach/Graves End section of Brooklyn ... A need more than a want! As I got older I would referee the younger class of students in their competitions.
Pattee Mak: Now that you once again tasted boxing and being in the ring, would you consider starting out as an amateur boxing referee?
Victor: If I had time and/or when I retire from Acting and Producing. (NEVER!). Seriously, if I have time I would love to mentor and/or referee young boys and girls in self-defense which also can double as a great daily exercise routine for them as well as for practical use.
Pattee Mak: I couldn’t agree with you more.
Pattee Mak: During the taping was there someone helping you on the set or did you study your role previous to entering the ring?
Victor: Yes. There was a referee that was on set with 25 years of experience currently working as a referee in the boxing world. William DeMeo introduced him to me and we spoke a bit before lunch to just refresh my memory on technique. Then, we broke for Lunch and then, we shot my scene after lunch.
Pattee Mak: Presently are they in post-production or can you give me the status on a time line as to a date when this movie will be released?
Victor: May 19, 2016 in Philadelphia, Penn, is the world premiere at the Xfinity Theatre and May 20, 2016 there will be a world release in over 16 Cities as well as on "Video On Demand"!
Pattee Mak: That is exciting news. May 20th is right around the corner.
Pattee Mak: How many scenes were you scripted in?
Victor: I was scripted in the main, big fight with William DeMeo and Brian Patrick Murphy. I'm the principle speaking part as referee #4 in the film aka "the 3rd man in the ring”.
Pattee Mak: While you were reading the script did you see a correlation between any boxers that you know of and the movie script? The environment/neighborhood that this boxer grew up in wasn’t a pretty one, being half Italian/half Puerto Rican growing while up on the streets where the father wasn’t nurturing and he loses his mother at a young age seems like a movie script that has come to life for some people. Do you feel that at times people can relate to the movie?
Victor: Of Course people can relate to this. Many more even than would admit it.... For instance, when I was reading the script ... I thought it was about or based on my life for a second. I grew up in the same neighborhood as William DeMeo. I am Sicilian and Greek and also grew up in this all Italian neighborhood and had experienced the same prejudice as I too was not all Italian. I was bullied as a child by neighborhood punks! And I found a martial arts school at the young age of 12 to help protect myself with this survival skill. Mafia and even the "WANNABES" Mafia we're a constant issue in the neighborhood as well. As for boxers that I know... "BACK IN THE DAY" portrays a real feel to how boxers really are in everyday life as well as in the ring! Thanks to the beautiful writing of William DeMeo. Thank you Will!
Pattee Mak: Awhile back, I read that actor Lillo Brancato landed a part in the film, but the police union of NY called for a boycott of the movie because of Brancato’s past. Did you happen to see any commotion at any point while they were trying to film the scenes?
Victor: I am aware that Lillo has a part in the film... But, that's all I know since we did not film our scenes on the same day/same set, etc.
Pattee Mak: In the end, did they keep him in the movie or do you know?
Victor: Awhhh... Even though I was privileged to see the film with the cast and crew a few months back. All I can with disclosing too much information... So, please be my guest and join us in viewing “BACK IN THE DAY" with its world release on May 20, 2016❗ Both in over 16 Cities as well as on Video On Demand (VOD) the same day❗
Pattee Mak: Actor William DeMeo plays Anthony Rodriguez. Do you know what type of boxing training if any, he had going into his role?
Victor: Once again... You will have to come join us and you, William and I can sit and chat after the film. Seriously, if we take a second to look at William DeMeo's chiseled body... There is the answer. He trained really hard and long to prepare for this film which he is the screen writer as well. Thank you again Will for your commitment to your role.
Pattee Mak: I would luv to go and sit and chat after the film. Inbox me details. I need details. I can even bring my camera.
Pattee Mak: Let’s name some names. Who else in the boxing community has been casted in the film besides Tyson, Jones and Merchant?
Victor: William DeMeo and Brian Patrick Murphy are the only boxers that I worked with in the ring in my scene. But, there are many more in the other fights. Just to give you an idea, there are four different referees in this film with lots of fighters to go along with them. I am referee #4 in the big fight.
Besides my lips are sealed. BACK IN THE DAY on May 20, 2016 will give us all the answers.
Pattee Mak: I hate it when “Lips are sealed”. Errr.
Pattee Mak: What is your take on boxing? Are you a big fan or?
Victor: I am and always have been a huge fan of boxing and martial arts too! My first stand up boxing kit was when I was 8 years old and I would stand on some metal device with what looked like a speed-bag turned upside down on the end of a long rod which connected it to its metal stand, etc.. So, yeah... fighting forever!
Pattee Mak: Thank you for doing this interview with me. I’m so excited for you and this role that you are in. I’m looking forward to seeing you on the big screen. Here is the website if anyone would like to check it out. http://www.backinthedaythemovie.com/
Victor: Thank you.