Jake Gyllenhaal plays Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the 2013 explosion, in the inspirational drama “Stronger,” which premiered Thursday evening at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center.
Gyllenhaal and Bauman walked the red carpet and spoke to journalists together. They obviously have become good friends and have a especially close relationship as a result of making the film.
At the movie’s intimate premiere Thursday evening they were joined by co-star Tatiana Maslany, the star of the long-running clone drama “Orphan Black” which just ended its run. Maslany — who has the rare gift of disappearing into her roles — portrays Jeff’s ex-girlfriend Erin, who he was waiting for at the finish line in an attempt to win her back. This was when the bomb exploded.
While he was in the hospital undergoing his horrific ordeal, Bauman was also instrumental in giving authorities a description of the bombers. Bauman became the embodiment of Boston spirit during those times, but the movie doesn’t shy away from showing a 27 year-old who was completely devastated and broken before he was able to pull his life together.
Also attending the premiere was director David Gordon Green, co-stars Clancy Brown, Danny McCarthy, Richard Lane Jr.,author Bret Witter, Roadside Attractions Co-President Eric d’Arbeloff, Producer Todd Lieberman, Michel Litvak Executive Producers Gary Michael Walters, Riva Marker, Peter McGuigan, and Anthony Mattero.
“Stronger” is a deeply emotional story and at times hard to take but ultimately it’s rewarding and inspiring and perfect for these cynical times. “Stronger,” with its strong family scenes (Miranda Richardson plays Jeff’s mother) is also a reminder of the importance of family to get people through the toughest times.
Watching Gyllenhaal play Bauman in scenes where he tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation and then watching the real Bauman walk the red carpet and come to the front of the stage to introduce the film was an uplifting and inspiring experience.
There was a lot of crying but also laughter from the completely full theater.
The evening was sponsored by Calvin Klein. Guests joined cast and crew after the screening for the after party at the chic Lincoln Restaurant next door.
“Stronger” opens Sept. 22.
Look for my red carpet interviews with Jeff Bauman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany, along with director David Gordon Green, in the next few days.