Reality Star “Freddie Kardashian” Debuts January 20!
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Boxing and cinema has always been a compelling combination.
Today at the Wild Card Boxing Club (the most famous gym in the world) a special Media Day was held to introduce the January 20 debut of the new HBO series about the most famous trainer in the world, Hall of Famer Freddie Roach.
I had a chance to chat with actor/filmmaker Peter Berg, who is also one of the Executive Producers on board for this six-episode “unscripted” program all about the famed boxing coach.
Photo by Maria Hedrick
“On Freddie Roach” has been described as a documentary-style reality show that will no doubt pack a punch as the legendary trainer is known for his work with countless champions including his biggest superstar, Manny Pacquiao. Today was Friday the 13th, an auspicious date in the calendar, but the Luck o’ the Irish was shining on the trainer and former fighter. The new year looks to be a busy one for the Wild Card bunch with the introduction of “On Freddie Roach.”
HBO‘s Tony Walker told me he’s really looking forward to the debut of this new show, helmed by Berg. The filmmaker is best known for “Friday Night Lights” and “Chicago Hope” but has been around the sweet science for almost two decades. Peter says he first met Freddie years ago through fellow actor, Mickey Rourke, at the Outlaw Boxing Gym.
“Boxing is still a passion of mine that first began 17 years ago at Outlaw,” Berg says. “Freddie hasn’t changed; he’s still the same humble guy.”
Many will agree that Freddie, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, is still the same person after almost two decades of being on the world’s biggest stage in boxing.
The “On Freddie Roach” project first began when HBO’s Jim Lampley called Berg while the filmmaker was in Hawaii with an idea to make a show centering on Roach and the activity taking place in and around Wild Card. Lampley is one of the Executive Producers and told us that he considers himself a “lucky man” to be working with Berg, adding that this Roach show will “cover an amazing subject with a story that bleeds through the screen.”
Berg, Roach and Lampley showed a great rapport as they greeted a large turnout of media types.
In the sweaty confines of the boxing gym, the men joked with each other and clearly get along and respect one another.
As an actor, Berg starred in “The Great White Hype,” a boxing movie with Samuel Jackson and Jamie Foxx. He’s no stranger to the fight game and told me he’s been a big fan of Freddie Roach’s for a long time.
Wearing a T-shirt and baseball cap touting this brand new “On Freddie Roach” show, a co-production of Film 44 and Atticus Entertainment, the Emmy nominee and writer spoke of his high regard for the well-regarded boxing trainer and also spoke of his own love of pugilism.
So with reality-TV stars booming in show business right now, will the bespectacled boxing coach rival those “Jersey Shore” icons of Snooki or Pauly D?
Could the humble trainer blow up like Kim Kardashian as the next reality superstar–outside the confines of boxing?
Peter answers by saying, “Wow, I haven’t thought about that!” Then he quickly adds, “But if ‘Freddie Kardashian’…IF he becomes ‘Freddie Kardashian’ I’m all for it.” He laughs at accidentally calling Roach “Freddie Kardashian” and gives the idea a big thumbs up.
Look for the new “On Freddie Roach” show airing January 20 on HBO (9:30-10 PM Eastern/Pacific).
Get ready to get to know Freddie Roach in an all new format.
Michele Chong has been involved in the sport of boxing for over a decade. Her “Chatter Box” column covers a variety of subjects in both professional and amateur boxing, and features exclusive one-on-one interviews, recaps of fight events, shows and tournaments, book/film reviews and much more.
Inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008, she is also a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame, Golden State Boxer’s Association and the Burbank Boxing Club. Michele is also involved in many non-profit and charitable organizations.