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Seabiscuit in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Seabiscuit

Tobey Maguire • Jeff Bridges • Chris Cooper

Entrepreneur Charles Howard (JEFF BRIDGES) fields press questions THE CONCEPT:
Based on a true story, this inspiring film tells how three men, all considered losers, and a down-and-out racehorse named Seabiscuit, rose to incredible heights in the late 1930’s

U.S. RELEASE: July 25 2003, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


TOBEY MAGUIRE (jockey Red Pollard):
“My character is just wonderful, very complex. In terms of riding, I wasn’t concerned about it. I’d done another movie where I rode horses, so I knew I had a start. I didn’t realize what kind of athletes jockeys are. The first time I got up in the stirrups and did a bit of a gallop on a racehorse, after a couple of minutes my legs were noodles. I could barely stand up.”

“I knew a little bit about horseracing, but nothing close to the amount that I’ve learned in the past year. It was fascinating to me. The era was fascinating. The world was fascinating. The struggles these three guys went through, they could have all quit on life, and they didn’t. This horse was a loser. The horse had lost something like 60 races. And they saw the worth in him even though no one else could. And that’s what’s so remarkable about it.”

JEFF BRIDGES (Charles Howard):
“One of the refreshing things about Seabiscuit for me was that it was a big budget movie, but it wasn’t all about special effects. The big special effect here was human emotion and, for me, you can’t beat that. That takes me higher than anything else.”

“I changed my character’s voice because I wanted to try to bring a softness and a high-pitched quality to the character that somehow applies to his gentleness in working with the horses. I didn’t want him to be a rough and tumble kind of cowboy. What I most wanted to do was bring his past, his life as a cowboy on the range, into the film.”

TOBEY MAGUIRE on why the story is relevant today:
“I think it’s universal, it’s relatable, and I think in terms of the overall heroic story, it’s relevant. These three people are broken down – Charles Howard loses a child, Tom Smith is someone who is out of place in this time, and my character is abandoned - and Seabiscuit’s been abused and never really understood, and I think coming together like a family we understand and care for each other, and we allow ourselves to be cared for, and from that we face and beat the odds. I’m a 28 year old guy, living in our time, and it struck me when I read it.”

“Gary Ross did a great job of condensing this massive book, and one of the ways he did that was this device of having a lot of very short scenes, which was challenging as an actor, because you build your character on the dialogue you have in scenes. Most movies have 200 scenes in them. This movie has 400 scenes in it.”

“Team Seabiscuit became such a great example of not letting the times get you down. I think there can be different kinds of heroes and inspirational stories - I think Spider-Man is one as well. It’s a classic outsider nerd kind of kid who gets to be a superhero, which is pretty cool.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Seabiscuit site
Images above © Universal Pictures
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #632, Summer 2003 cover

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Film Review, Deadly Divas 2003 cover

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