by Quad City Times
MMAWeekly broke the story in October about the movie starring many current and former UFC stars. Now the Quad City newspaper has Pat Miletich’s perspective of the movie business..
Miletich enjoying his first taste of movie-making
By Sean Moeller
Pat Miletich returns home today a villain. The Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight legend and Bettendorf High School grad will be back at Champions Gym in downtown Bettendorf with tales of the glories from the set of his first major motionpicture acting gig.
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He has spent the past month two hours south of the border in the wine valley of Ensenada, Mexico, getting kicked in the head by Paul Walker (Brian O’Connor from “Fast and the Furious” and Lance Harbor from “Varsity Blues”) and trying to surf when the long hours allowed it.
“I play a crazy guy who’s after Paul Walker. Robbie Lawler, Rory Markham (both Miletich Fighting Systems fighters) and myself are the three bad guys who are fighting Paul in the desert,” Miletich said in an e-mail from the set. “We do have some long hours, but it’s all going to be worth it. What more can a person ask for in life … hanging out in Mexico, making a movie and surfing with Paul Walker? Paul’s actually a very good surfer. I, on the other hand, sink like a rock in the ocean. Paul and stunt coordinator Oakley Lemon are doing better learning how to fight than I am learning how to surf.
“I have only been surfing with (Paul) once, since we’ve been pretty busy with the movie. He’s a great surfer, and they’re coaching me on how not to drown. I think they find me comical on a surf board. I need the practice.”
The film, entitled “The Death and Life of Bobby Z”, which is based on a 1997 book by Don Winslow, is being directed by John Herzfeld, who has become a friend of the Miletich camp in short time. Herzfeld’s credits include directorial work on “2 Days in the Valley,” “The Ryan White Story” and “Don King: Only in America.”
Last winter he spent a week in the Quad-Cities with Miletich and his fighters, researching a movie he’s writing that uses ultimate fighting as the vehicle of the story. He joined Tim Sylvia’s corner last February in Las Vegas when he fought Andrei Arlovski and has kept in correspondence with the camp.
“John’s a great person and he’s incredibly talented with a lot of creativity,” Miletich wrote. “He has also been very helpful with my difficulties in dealing with the pressures of doing this project and being worried about my fighters back home, who have big fights coming up.”
One of those fights is Saturday in UFC 56: Full Force at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. That’s when Matt Hughes defends his welterweight championship against challenger Joe Riggs and Sam Hoger, from the first season of the reality show “The Ultimate Fighter,” fights Jeff Newton on the undercard.
“It’s very hard for me to communicate from where I am. We are on-set for long hours, and I don’t have access to phones on a constant basis,” Miletich wrote. “Matt and the other fighters have been training for so many years that it’s not a problem for them. Jens Pulver and the others have been helping the guys get ready for their fights, so I’m very confident they will be fine. I do wish I could be there for them. It’s a little difficult for me to be so far away at times like this. We’re like brothers.”
Other than the distance from home and life out of cell phone range, Miletich has enjoyed his first taste of the cinema.
“The first day of acting went well,” Miletich wrote early last week. “I got kicked in the head by Paul. What a great day!!! Rob, Rory and I were taking horse riding lessons from the stunt coordinator (Oct. 31). What a sight to see. It was some funny stuff. I almost got thrown off by one of the horses.
“We (the fighters) get along with the actors, stuntmen and production people very well. They are intense people, so we relate very well.”
The film does not have a projected release date yet.