Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

TCA: Spike Lee Calls His 'Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth' Subject 'The Most Honest Human Being I've Met in My Life'

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire July 25, 2013 at 4:44PM

HBO has two boxing-related films in its upcoming schedule. The first, the Stephen Frears-directed scripted feature "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight," comes to the network after a premiere at Cannes. The second and more exciting is the Spike Lee-directed "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth," a filmed version of Tyson's Broadway one-man show with cinematography by Matthew Libatique that's currently being edited and will premiere later this year.
1
'Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth'
Craig Blankenhorn 'Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth'

HBO has two boxing-related films in its upcoming schedule. The first, the Stephen Frears-directed scripted feature "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight," comes to the network after a premiere at Cannes. The second (and more exciting) is the Spike Lee-directed "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth," a filmed version of Tyson's Broadway one-man show with cinematography by Matthew Libatique that's currently being edited and will premiere later this year.

Lee and Tyson, who appeared together at TCA, had an unexpectedly winning odd-couple dynamic on stage, with Lee playing the tough and being protective of his subject, scolding the crowd for not applauding when Tyson sat down, with Tyson scoffing "you don't need to clap." 

When asked how much of the show was scripted versus outlined and improvised from, Tyson said "it's pretty scripted, but I also ad-lib," and Lee followed with the info that Mike's wife's Kiki wrote the script, saying that "Mike was not up there just winging it. We did this last summer on Broadway for two weeks. We had a four-week intense rehearsal period. This is not some willy-nilly stuff!"

The show started in Las Vegas, where a friend of Lee's saw it and suggested he take a look. He helped shaped the show as it arrived in New York: "We didn't need the band, we didn't need the singer. For me it was about Mike on the stage." ("I like the band, I like the singer, but Spike changed it so it was just me. But that rock band was just awesome," countered Tyson.)

Mike Tyson 2

As to whether there would be framing material in the film and interviews with audience members, Lee said "no, noooo." ("That would have been cool too," said Tyson, to which Lee responded that for the press conference "Mike, on this one I'm your Cus [D'Amato].")

"Mike Tyson is the most honest human being I've met in my life," Lee told the audience. "Most human beings are not going to display the dark parts of themselves, the demons they have to the world. When you see this, he's out there on this stage, naked, sharing his experience, his ups and down to the audience. To do that without thinking about whether people are going to like me, love me or hate me..."

Tyson noted he'd done some movies before, but never taken them seriously before this point. "I have such an affinity with boxing, and that inspired me to want to embark on this career. I felt just as if I was in a live fight. The only thing that was different, it came across more as a stand-up, like a comic in the show, that was the only thing that was different in the show. I expected it to be more gut-wrenching, but it didn't come off that way entirely." He added that also he didn't "have to go the hospital after I perform. Just like in fighting, I wanted to kill everyone in the room -- with my performance of course... What is reckless on the stage is splendor in the ring."

"You're looking at two Brooklyn boys," said Lee, who's from Fort Greene. "Mike from Brownsville -- never run, never will..." ("What is the saying for Fort Greene?" broke in Tyson. "We don't have one," Lee admitted.) "We blew up at the same time. We'd see each other at premieres," Lee continued. "One time I was walking up Dekalb Avenue and Mike almost hit me, driving his Rolls Royce." "You're not the world's best driver," he said to Tyson. "I didn't have my license then," Tyson admitted, "but I had a really nice car." The difference between the two of them, Tyson said, is that "I hang out with a guy who might shoot you, and Spike hangs out with an erudite jazz player," something Lee chalked up to the "diversity of the African-American experience."

This article is related to: Television, TV News, TCA Summer 2013, HBO , Spike Lee, Mike Tyson, Mike Tyson: An Undisputed Truth






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More