Actor Chadwick Boseman had some tough cleats to fill playing Jackie Robinson in “42” – especially getting the look and mannerisms of the iconic baseball legend just right.
“We worked on [the appearance]. Some people say I already look like him, but I didn’t see it and I felt like we needed to do some things in terms of hair, and I think the sun helped a little bit,” Chadwick told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Wednesday’s Access Hollywood Live.
The film follows the story of Jackie breaking baseball’s color barrier as the first African-American to play in the major leagues.
Chadwick went through intense training to master Jackie’s playing style.
“His batting stance is very unique… he has a hitch in his swing,” he explained.
Co-star Harrison Ford, who plays Brooklyn Dodgers’ general manager Branch Rickey, also had to undergo a physical transformation for the movie.
“I think when anyone first thought of Harrison Ford playing this role, they were like, ‘Naw, it doesn’t work,’” Chadwick told Billy and Kit. “[They used] prosthetics, on the ears even, and changed [his] hair, and used a fat suit.”
Harrison appeared to have a little fun on set with his plump costume.
“He would come out some days, especially when there were extras there and they would all be a little tense around him because they didn’t want to disturb him and they didn’t know how to act,” the actor recalled. “[Harrison] would walk out while it was silent and say, ‘Just to let you know this is a fat suit.’ He wanted everyone to know he’s still fit.”
“42” is in theaters now.
-- Jesse Spero