Mike Tyson 'saved by movie'
New York, July 3 (ANI): A film about Mike Tyson - produced when he was seen by Hollywood and the public at large as "somebody who didn't belong in society" - saved the controversial former boxer from his "pariah" tag and almost single-handedly paved the way in remaking his image.
Tyson just extended his Broadway run in his Spike Lee-directed one-man show, "Undisputed Truth."
Five years ago, "The public had a totally negative view of him," says James Toback, who directed the movie "Tyson."
"He was a pariah. They saw him as an ear-biting psychopath and rapist," the New York Post quoted him as saying.
"I thought, 'Right now he's going to be in dire straits. This is the time he's going to be feeling worse and worse about himself, and go deeper and deeper down,' " says Toback, who contacted Tyson in rehab in 2007 following a drug arrest, and chaperoned him out each day for a week to film his story.
"It was exactly what he needed therapeutically," recalls Toback. "There was the feeling you couldn't believe what you were hearing. He opened up completely . . . It was raw, honest and pure."
Tyson began openly addressing issues that he also does in his Broadway show - about the Evander Holyfield ear-chomp, being unfaithful, thinking he was insane, and life in prison.
"Tyson" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won a special prize and generated acclaim from Oprah Winfrey, Warren Beatty, Barry Levinson and Todd Phillips.
Toback says when he first showed Tyson a cut of the movie, "Tyson sat on the floor of the screening room instead of a seat, and after staring into space for five minutes, he said, 'It's like a Greek tragedy, the only problem is I'm the subject.' " (ANI)
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