Mike inspired by the life of Mike Tyson | Take hits, give more

He was poor and lisped. He was beaten and intimidated. Then one day we killed one of his pigeons and he had enough. Michael Gerard Tyson used his fists for the first time, which would make him a millionaire and world star a few years later. mike chronicles the life of one of history’s greatest boxers, who made some women suffer even more than his opponents in the ring.

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Pascal LeBlanc

Pascal LeBlanc
The press

Mike Tyson, now 56, was not consulted in the creation of the eight-episode series. A press release from the producers states that the script was developed after “an extensive study of testimonies, interviews and footage” to provide “an unbiased portrait”. In posts on his social media, Tyson claims his life story was “stolen”. In the USA, mike aired on the Hulu platform, which he compared to a “slave trader”.

Russell Hornsby, who plays promoter Don King, believes the former heavyweight champion has every right to object to the show airing, but hopes that when he watches it he’ll find that “the goal isn’t “We wanted to show a global and nuanced portrait of who he was then, and I sincerely think we honor him in some ways,” states the actor, who among other things can be seen in the series grim and BMF.

The United States and the world were very different in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Today our understanding allows for more compassion. Without apologies for what he has done, there is hope that those suffering from mental illness or childhood trauma can receive help and empathy rather than following a path similar to Tyson’s.

Russell Hornsby, who plays Don King on the series

The press could see five of the eight episodes of mike. The fifth directed by Tiffany Johnson (Dear whites), stands out because it is told from Desiree Washington’s point of view (Li Eubanks, a revelation). The latter was raped by Mike Tyson in July 1991. The boxer was sentenced to six years in prison the following year. He only served three.

“In addition to mental health, we are also currently addressing misogyny in boxing,” said Russell Hornsby. Tyson abused many women during his rise to power. However, the look of the series is that of 2022, not the 1980s and 1990s. The events are observed with an understanding of what toxic masculinity is and how it affects the story being told. »

In the rhythm of the rounds

Created by Steven Rogers (I Tonya, hope swims), mike resumes the formula of the show Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth in which the New Yorker traced the thread of his life in front of an audience. It all begins at the Majestic Theater where Trevante Rhodes (moonlight) announces on stage that he will not lie. With Tyson’s voice, facial expressions and attitude, the actor very convincingly embodies the man of his last years, but also of his 18th birthday in scenes that refer to the past. Youngsters Ethan Barrett and BJ Minor play Tyson through his troubled childhood and later adolescence, respectively, which he spent mostly in the company of his trainer and only father figure, Cus D’Amato (excellent Harvey Keitel).


Trevante Rhodes takes on the facial features of Mike Tyson as an adult.

The brilliant cast benefit from dynamic production – provided principally by Craig Gillespie (I Tonya, horrible) – and at a brisk pace. “The creators wanted each episode to be like rounds of boxing: the fast cuts are like fists, the slower moments represent the pause between rounds. The bell rings and we knock again,” explains Russell Hornsby.

Speaking about his role as the eccentric Don King, the actor says he wants to “humanize him as much as possible” and “avoid caricature.” “I have a background in theater, so I used that knowledge to highlight the theatrics of Don King. I watched several interviews to master his voice and facial expression. I’ve also noticed that he always keeps a smile and positive attitude no matter what the situation,” added Russell Hornsby.

He hopes the same for Mike Tyson and his fans when it comes to his series.

The first two episodes of mike Premieres on Disney+ on August 25.

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