"Here Comes the Boom" opens in theaters Friday, and features stars Kevin James with lead actors Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler, and famed MMA trainer Mark DellaGrotte, who plays an MMA trainer named Mark DellaGrotte.
DellaGrotte recently appeared on MMAjunkie.com Radio and discussed the making of the film.
"It's something he wanted to do for a long time," said DellaGrotte. "It wasn't like I got a phone call out of nowhere. Kevin is a huge fan of the sport."
"It wasn't about being an actor or crossing over or making a ton of money. What was amazing for me was just the experience of being around people like Henry and Salma and Kevin. I grew up watching 'The Fonz,' and to watch 'Happy Days' and sit next to Henry on a movie set is surreal."
"They knew that having guys like me, Bas Rutten, Parsons, Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin, Joe Rogan – all these guys contributed to the movie. Part of our role as people that have come from mixed martial arts and are firm believers in the sport – we all wanted to make sure this movie was accurately depicted. So it was a full crew that made sure the fight scenes looked good."
"Most of the movie was filmed in New England, and I truly believe that New England is a hub for mixed martial arts... That was one of Kevin's themes in the movie … to show people what it's like to go through the struggles of a young fighter or a fighter coming up in the amateur leagues. Kevin wanted to show that because that's real."
DellaGrotte admits to catching the acting bug.
"I told Kevin I got bit hard, and he laughed at me," the 37-year-old DelalGrotte said. "Not because I said that, but because of my accent."
"A lot of people are complimenting me on my acting ability, and it's kind of bittersweet, because I don't know how I could possibly mess up being me."
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