DALLAS — On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs detonated 12 seconds and 210 yards apart near the finish line of the Boston marathon. The blasts killed three people and injured hundreds of others. Sixteen people lost limbs. One of those was Jeff Bauman.
“That day, where all of this happened to him affected a community, city by proxy the whole world,” says Jake Gyllenhaal.
Bauman was at the finish line waiting for his on-again-off-again girlfriend when the bombs went off. His picture and his story went around the world. Now he hopes his story will change lives.
Bauman says, “I hope that someone that’s going through something like that tremendous loss, losing your home, and losing everything that you have – it’s a huge loss and I lost my legs and you know that’s a huge loss.”
The movie Stronger tells his journey after the bombing; through rehabilitation and even helping identify one of the bombers. He co-wrote the film and didn’t shy away from the tough times.
Gyllenhaal says, “I feel like you know you can’t really have that joy without understanding that pain in particularly telling a story like this, it was important for us to show Jeff’s pain and the process of healing.”
Jake Gyllenhaal plays Bauman in the movie. Normally known for becoming the characters; Gyllenhaal wanted to be sure he got this one right.
“He’s an incredible human being and I just tried to capture that knowing that I wouldn’t have the strength to get through what he got through and it was my honor to play him.”
Some reviews have criticized the film for having someone without a disability playing the role. But Bauman says he wouldn’t have wanted anyone else.
“He did a great job, he works hard, he works really hard – it’s something that I didn’t know about him. Like Jake doesn’t work hard, Bauman joked.
With all that’s happening in the world today, the message Stronger delivers is one we can all use. The film hits theaters September 22nd.