Liev Schreiber might not have the heaviest schedule in Hollywood, but when he is involved on a project - he is in 100%. Taking some time out from his heavy workload on the television drama Ray Donovan, the actor is fronting an independent biopic titled Chuck. Chronicling the life of the man who inspired Sylvester Stallone's Rocky franchise.
Speaking with Variety this week, the 49-year old opened up about his professional choices and what motivates him to take on certain characters. Ahead of the May 5 release in theaters for the boxing movie, Schreiber explained that heavyweight fighter Chuck Wepner was an engaging individual who never let adversity stand in the way.
Chuck Always Moving Forward For Fight Inside and Outside The Ring
Having a very public split from actress Naomi Watts in his personal life, Schreiber saw Wepner as a man who pushed through the boundaries that stood in his way.
"After having a couple of kids and being on a television show and in everyone’s living room for a couple of years, it felt like kind of a cautionary tale about fame and celebrity," he reflected. "It was a trip down the rabbit hole of narcissism and identity, things that drive a lot of us who end up in the spotlight. He had a precipitous fall. The way he responded to it and the way he recovered from it was inspiring to me. It says a lot about his character as a person and a fighter — he was constantly moving forward, but there was an innocence to him. He kind of won me over. When I had kids, I felt very paranoid initially about fame and celebrity. It was something that had been on my mind a lot."
Entering a fifth season of Ray Donovan, does he have an idea about when the show will come to a conclusion?
"I have no idea," he admitted. "I’ve been at odds with it for a long time. It’s a hard thing to do. The schedule is really, really difficult. Having said that, I’ve also accepted that this is my job and these people are my family. I’m lucky to have a job, and I’m lucky to have such a talented family. I guess as long as I can manage it, it’s a great job. I’m grateful, but it’s hard. It’s six months of the year. There’s nothing quite like the one hour drama for attacking your schedule."
RD Got In The Way of Farewell Appearance
Having taken on the Marvel villain Sabretooth for 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Schreiber was not brought back into the fold for Hugh Jackman's final performance in the superhero realm for Logan. But as he recalled, Schreiber was in the plans of the Australian to reprise the character until his television commitments scuppered that eventuality.
"There was an invitation early on from Hugh (Jackman) and (director James Mangold) and I would have loved to work on it," Schreiber remarked. "It was very difficult given Ray Donovan's schedule, and I think they went a different direction as well with story. I think it's a terrific movie. I'm just very proud of Hugh and the way that he handled himself with that franchise and that character. It was a great experience to be involved with one of them and to get to work with them. I had mixed emotions when I heard that he was going to retire."