When it was announced that Miles Teller would be playing tough-as-nails boxer Vinny Pazienza in Bleed for This, there were some who doubted that the baby-faced actor was the right choice for the role. Judging by the first trailer for the film, however, he seems plenty comfortable in the shoes of the man known as “The Pazmanian Devil.”
The spot is embedded above and mixes an inspirational, against-all-odds story with a few laughs and plenty of Vinny Paz flash. Highlights include Teller being mummified by cellophane at 0:14, a cringe-inducing workout montage at 1:38, and every time Aaron Eckhart appears as balding boxing trainer Kevin Rooney. Like Teller’s role, it sounds wrong on paper, but feels natural on screen.
For those that don’t follow boxing, Vinny Pazienza was known for his relentless toughness in the ring, where he brawled his way to a 50-10 lifetime record. In 1991, he broke his neck in a car accident and was told he would never fight again. As you’ll see above, however, Paz defied the odds and returned to the sport he loved. He went on to have a long and successful career.
While it’s tough to get a handle on how good a film will be from a trailer, getting a feel for individual performances is a bit easier. That said, Teller looks to be clicking on all cylinders here, from the ripped physique, to the accent, to the swagger that made Paz, Paz.
Director Ben Younger (Boiler Room) is at the helm for Bleed for This and Martin Scorsese — who knows a thing or two about boxing films — is serving as an executive producer. The film also stars Katey Sagal (Louise Pazienza), Ciarán Hinds (Angelo Pazienza), and Amanda Clayton (Doreen Pazienza). It is set for a November 23 release.