Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story inspired by the true story of Michael “Eddie” Edwards an unlikely but courageous British skier who became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie (Taron Egerton) takes on the ski-jumping establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world. The movie is Directed by Dexter Fletcher.
The original story, script and cast of characters is what makes this a powerful and authentic movie with life lessons for every member of the family.
Eddie The Eagle Director Interview – Dexter Fletcher
Although the script for Eddie the Eagle had been floating around for many years, the story behind how Dexter Fletcher was drawn to the movie is a moment of serendipity.
Dexter Fletcher grew up in England knowing the story of Eddie from back in the day. “I’m old enough to remember when he was there”, recalls Dexter Fletcher. “When I was growing up in England ambition and congratulating someone was not something people would do. I think I must have been in my mid-20s or early 20s, and I was quite sort of mid-20s. I thought I knew it all anyway, which of course I did, and he was just sort of a joke, in England particularly. We don’t do congratulating people. We don’t do it, sort of. Ambition is almost a dirty word in England. Oh, he’s very ambitious. Although he was sort of celebrated certainly where he came from in his home town, which makes sense, the rest of the country was a bit like, oh, he’s a loser. And I suppose I was of that opinion as well. I didn’t really take much interest at that time.”
The script for Eddie the Eagle had been floating around for about 15 years. Dexter read the script and saw an interview of Eddie on a reality television program named Splash about five years ago and he had an epiphany. “Eddie was 25 years older than everyone on the show and did very well in the show because he approached it in this real Olympian kind of way”, recalls Dexter. “He was brilliant at it. He absolutely won it. I was like this guy’s amazing. He’s my age, and he’s got the right idea. He’s got the right attitude. He really goes for it, and he was great at it, and really humble.”, said Dexter. He really admired Eddie after that show and wanted to know who this guy was. “And then of course, there’s a story behind that young buffoon, as we understood him to be. But, he’s not that. He was a dedicated, determined young man who sacrificed a lot to achieve something that he’d always dreamed of. And I was like that’s really good. That’s good. Why not tell that story?”, recalls Dexter.
Director Dexter Fletcher did a wonderful and authentic job in directing the cast of Eddie the Eagle. He attributes the authenticity to the cast. “The more I spoke to Taron, I understood that he wanted to create something far away from Kingsman. And it’s a really kind of sensitive, human performance. It’s a very different kind of film. And so, I had seen him there and was very impressed by that and then started working with him and talking to him. And then, we did this screen test with Hugh, and what Taron has is this amazing ability to turn very quickly emotionally and because his eyes are the way they are, you’re kind of engaged with that. And it’s a real mercurial kind of quality, which is nothing more than a bit of magic in a film.”, said Fletcher.
It’s nice if you’re telling a story like Eddie to have that sort of magic in there, that allows you to go–because there’s a dreamy kind of aspirational quality about it. – Director, Dexter Fletcher
“And the other thing about it is for me the family’s important. The mother and the father, those relationships are important. I like those stories. The mum wants to back him, but can’t show that in front of dad. For me, that’s quite a funny dynamic, you know? And dad’s kind of scared for him. Don’t go out in the world. Don’t do anything above what you think you can because you’ll only get hurt.”, recalls Dexter. “But, the reality is, that dad’s just scared for him, and mum’s really backing him. And they’ve got that dynamic going on. “, said Dexter.
“There’s nothing wrong with not letting go of that dream or that drive or that thing that inspired you when you were young.” Dexter Fletcher said to me. “You can apply that to so many different things. That’s what’s lovely about Eddie’s story, is that he’s inspired, and he does keep moving forward. And you can apply that to so many different aspects of your life.”
Eddie The Eagle – Hugh Jackman Interview
Hugh Jackman always loved the story of Eddie the Eagle. “I always loved the story. I was 19 I think when Eddie jumped and in Australia we were captured by this guy.”, he recalls. ” He became a folk hero in Australia and I think this same reason I loved him there is why I love this movie. It taps into everybody’s desire to find the thing they love, to overcome whatever obstacles they are going to overcome to do it and as a parent now, I watch that movie and I am so thrilled my kids are seeing a movie that finally says you don’t actually have to win to be a winner. You have to give with your heart, you have to give it all you got, and you got to love it.”, said Hugh Jackman.
“I watched this with my 15 year-old and my 10 year-old and I’m praying these messages are sinking in. Like “Don’t worry what other people think of you, just do the thing you love, just keep going and keep that positive attitude for live, don’t necessarily focus on the result or winning, just keep trying.” – Hugh Jackman
Eddie The Eagle – Taron Egerton Interview
In Eddie the Eagle, Taron Egerton plays an average Joe, which is completely different from other roles such as from Kingsman. “It was hard to find a reason not to do this movie. It presented a challenge in terms of the acting and I was a huge fan of Dexter [Fletcher], our director. His movies are brilliant. Matthew Vaughn [producer] who I did Kingsman with.
“It always felt very easy stepping into his shoes. It was in the script that he was a kind of, so kind of likeable on the page that it was someone that kind of, I just really wanted to connect with him and bring to life. It was inspiring reading the script”, recalls Taron. He also got to meet the real life Eddie on the set.
My mother is in the whole. My mother did, and my father, they have always, I mean, not to get soppy, my parents have always done everything for me. Everything that is good in me is my mother. She is an incredible, incredible, incredible force of nature, brilliant support. – Taron Egerton
Crazy stuntmen In Eddie The Eagle Movie
There is a lot of action on the slopes, especially the skiers. “There were some crazy German stuntmen who–because we filmed in Germany. And we had this amazing second unit director, who is a guy called Vic Armstrong, and he was a stuntman in the ’80s on films like Raiders of the Lost Ark. When you see Raiders of the Lost Ark, and there’s a big boulder chasing Harrison Ford, this is Vic Armstrong, or when you see a guy going underneath a truck on a whip, his name is Vic Armstrong. He came and did all our stunts”, recalls Dexter.
“He put together this team of German guys, all a bit crazy. They’re all a bit bonkers, you know? “Oh, yes, we’ll do it.” And they all just jumped off of this thing. I mean we were filming another bit where we could see them down, and they just kept jumping off and falling over. He came back with 90 hours of footage for me because he had lots of different cameras. And that was just on the 40-meter jump.”, said Dexter.
“We also had these two young jumpers, who were Romanian actually. And what we did, we strapped a camera to their back, and one guy went down the in-run, as it’s called. And another guy went after him with a camera.”
“But, because the guy who went down first was going very fast, the ice slightly heats up underneath his skis. So, the guy behind him starts going faster. So, they take off, and the guy behind is going faster. And he flies over his head. As they fly through the air, we got it all on film, and clips him on the shoulder with his ski, and then lands before him, and the other guy lands behind him. Like I said, part of it’s in the film.” recalls Dexter.