In addition to reviewing the film, I had the opportunity to talk with Stephen Dorff about his role in IFC’s “Embattled.”
Dorff plays Cash Boykins, the domineering MMA prizefighter, whose son, Jett (Darren Mann), is also training to become an MMA fighter. Their tumultuous and complicated relationship is the focal point of the film, and Dorff examined his performance as Cash, and talked about the process of becoming Cash through the fight choreography. He discussed his training for the film and how MMA fighters like Conor McGregor influenced his performance. Dorff’s explained how his fight choreography reflected both Dorff’s and Mann’s personality and how the choreography informed their performances. He also explained his challenges training with Chris Connelly while praising getting to work with stunt choreographers Fernando Chien (stunt coordinator for the MMA drama Warrior) and Don Lee (stunt coordinator for Daredevil) for their attention to detail and characterization for the fight scenes.
We also discussed the unique elements of the film that attracted Dorff to the story in the first place. He expressed how the film wasn’t just a sports movie, but also a movie about a dysfunctional family, with a lot of toxicity, but with love buried underneath. This exploration into a toxic family dynamic and having the opportunity to play an emotionally complex character like Cash heavily drew Dorff to the script.
Embattled will be in Select Theaters & on VOD November 20, 2020
You can read my review of Embattled here.