As of today, Jan. 5, "Grudge Match," was one of the top ten movies at the box office this past weekend. Examiner.com had the opportunity to chat with two of the film's stars Michael Buffer who makes a cameo and comedian Joey Diaz who plays a trainer. Buffer is best known for saying "Let's get ready to rumble!"
Tell me about your character in the film?
Joey Diaz: My character is Mikey, I play like a bum type of trainer. Instead of training, I’m more into reading US Magazine and stuff like that, and I have Robert - his character for a few days, and he pretty much fires me when he realizes that I’m a washed up old bum.
Tell me about working with Mr. De Niro?
Joey Diaz: It’s like for you to be working with somebody from 60 Minutes. It’s where you want to be. I’m not a classically trained actor, or nothing I’m a standup comic per say, but for me it was mind boggling. Like my head was gonna blow at the time knowing this was Robert De Niro.
Tell me about collaborating with the director?
Joey Diaz: Well Peter Segal this was my second collaboration with him. The first time was in an Adam Sandler movie, so I didn’t really have a lot of time to work with him. This time, I really worked with Mr. Segal, and he is a great guy, a great comedy director, and he knows what he’s doing. So for me this was a great honor.
What’s coming up in 2014 that you would like to share?
Joey Diaz: I got the podcast "The Church Of What's Happening Now," I have the CD coming out, "You Can’t Eat With Asthma" coming out New Year's Eve. I have a lot of good things going on, let’s just see which ones pan out.
How did you get involved in the film?
Michael Buffer: Well it’s really tough I got to play myself and do the introductions of the fighters for the main event. So that was pretty easy.
Did the director call you?
Michael Buffer: Well they decided to give it a realistic effect as though HBO was covering the fight. I’ve done quite a few fights on HBO for thirty years. So they brought in Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant to be on the ringside and set it up like you’re watching TV, and I was lucky enough to get picked to do the introductions.
Have you been friendly with Stallone and De Niro in the past?
Michael Buffer: I’ve known Sly for twenty five years, but this was the first time I got to meet Robert De Niro, and I was working up enough nerve to go over and say hello, when we were on set for the beginning of the fight scene. Then all of a sudden he just says, "Hey Michael, how you doing any interesting fights coming up?" Here’s an Academy Award winning legend who just happens to be one of the guys, and that was a really great moment for me.
Anything upcoming that you would like to share?
Michael Buffer: Yeah, eventually I want to start retiring they’re working me too hard. Got a lot of stuff coming up in 2014, it’s gonna be a great year for boxing.
We caught up with both actors at the New York premiere of the film at the Ziegfeld Theater, which benefitted the Tribeca Film Institute. Warner Bros. "Grudge Match" is now playing.