Hollywood newcomer Chadwick Boseman suffered for his art while portraying baseball great Jackie Robinson in new movie 42 because director Brian Helgeland insisted in using the gear the sportsman would have used in his heyday.
The actor studied Robinson's personality traits and the way he stood, and he even quizzed the slugger's widow about her late husband, but nothing could have prepared him for the agony he'd have to go through portraying the hero in baseball match mock-ups.
He tells WENN, "Wearing the shoes was the worst thing because shoes have come a long way in terms of the sole and support; especially when you put spikes on the other side of it. I ran through probably five or six pairs of shoes during the course of filming and my feet had bone bruises that I didn't get over for several months.
"I also didn't wear gloves when I was batting, so I had jammed thumbs, bone bruises, blisters.
"Also the bats from that time are heavier. We didn't use heavier bats when we were filming but my coach Dennis Reitz was adamant about me using a heavier bat just to understand why he (Robinson) swung a bat the way he did. All that stuff was hard to deal with."
Robinson dominated baseball in the early 1950s. He died in 1972.
We didn't use batting gloves either when I was a kid. Your hands toughened up as the season went on, and I can't ever remember jamming my thumb.
Maybe a few blisters, which quickly went away, and a slight bone bruise or two if you caught one on the handle of the bat.
But otherwise I didn't get as hurt in full competition as this guy did playing make-believe baseball.
Outside of all that, it was important for Jackie Robinson to succeed as the first African American to play major league baseball.
It would have been on thing if he was good enough to make the roster and spend a few years in the bigs.
But, he was more than that,. He was dominant player during his era, a solid All-Star and Hall of Famer. His number would have been larger if blacks weren't denied the opportunity to play big leagues ball until 1947.
Even MORE than that, JR was a man of character and decency who was loved by his teammates (though, not by all his teammates from the start), and who had the courage and conviction to understand how important it was for him to succeed.
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