Growing up in the hardscrabble town of Lowell, Mass., Micky Ward wasn't much of a moviegoer. "Couldn't sit still long enough," he says. Boxing was his recreation, an outlet that led to an 18-year pro career. Now, at age 45, Ward (who retired in 2003 with a record of 38--13) is in the movies. Last week the fighter shared some thoughts on The Fighter and other topics.
On how close the movie is to reality
"It was pretty much right on. Christian Bale did an excellent job [playing Ward's half brother, boxer turned crack addict Dicky Ecklund]. You look at him and you would think he was Dicky. Some things happened differently, though. Dicky jumped out of a lot of windows, but I don't think he jumped out a window every time someone knocked on the door. And in that last fight, I didn't go down. The hell with that."
On his participation in the movie
"I was really involved in the boxing scenes. Mark [Wahlberg] watched a lot of my fights on film, and he flew my brother and me out to California. He got it right."
On his family's reaction to the film's often unflattering portrayal
"I'm sure it's hard for Dicky to look at it and see the way he was. He'll never go back [to that life] again. I don't know how my sisters and mother are going to feel, either. I'm not sitting next to them when they see it!"
On his life now
"I'm a part owner of a hockey rink and a boxing gym. And I'm a Teamster. We drive extras to movie sets all over Massachusetts. I would have driven the extras to this set, but I couldn't. Guess I can't collect two paychecks."
On his celebrated trilogy with Arturo Gatti not being in the film
"I was a little surprised they weren't. The Gatti fights took me to another level. Maybe they can be in the sequel."
MICHAEL O'NEILL (WARD TODAY)
RIGHT ON Ward (right and top) says the film hits home.
CHRIS POLK/HBO BOXING AFTER DARK/AP (ACTION)
[See caption above]